Ramapo Valley Brewery
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Ratings: 6 | Reviews: 6 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
2.15/5 rDev -25.1%
Man, I was hoping you guys had it all wrong.
I've been there before, both fairly recently (last February) and back in the day (when it was the Mountain Valley Brew Pub) and I've read the recent reviews so I figured I'd stop in to see if it's really all that.
It's all that. What can I say?
The copper sheet bar was sticky with beer that wasn't my own.
The place is very poorly lit, and there doesn't seem to be any good reason why. So, right off the bat it's like an "anti clean, well lit place".
They had 4 beers on tap. A light beer that I don't even want to talk about, an uninspiring Winter, a so-so lager, and the copper ale which was the best of the lot of them and still nothing to write home about. Nobody could tell us when this imperial stout was coming. I've got to wonder if it even really exists.
In February, me and Jed did lunch. He had a very unflattering bowl of chili which he deemed to be "canned" and I got soggy motzarella sticks. I won't do the food there again.
So, from the top...
1) You need to lose the cave motif. It looks unclean and makes me think "unclean". You know why?? Because a cave is a dirty rock wall.
2) You need to light the joint up. When the bar is dim, you can't see if it the bar is clean (it isn't. turn on the lights)
3) You need to always have that Ruffian Porter flowing (I remember that it won the best porter at the GABF in '94, why don't you??)
4) You need to fix the food scene.
Look, I'm a Rockland kid so I know the layout of the land. If you want a seedy Suffern bar, then you've got it. But you can be so much more. Word is that you've got a great brewer. You've got a big dining area. To be a successful brewpub, you need good beer and good food. I'm amazed in the contrast between RVB and the Gilded Otter just an hour away.
01-02-2003 22:06:23 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev +32.4%
As I was driving home on 87 South with my trusty New York Breweries book by Lew Bryson by my side, I realized that Ramapo Valley Brewery was just ahead. I got directions from the owner, it turns out. More on him later.
RVB is tucked away off a "Main Street" like road amidst shoe shops and the like. The outside is a bit low key. Inside, RBV picks up a bit. At first I didn't know what to make of the place. What with the sticky floors, cave like fiberglass walls, floors that are peeling apart and the forrest green painted steel plating on the bar kick panels, rickety bar stools, and a dented tarnished copper plating on the bar surface. It only took one sip of my first sampler to figure it out. This is a beer lover's paradise, a la New York City vibes. There are a few games & pinball machines, and a huge stage for a band. Nice! Would I take my mom here? Heck no, but that's ok. Mom don't like beer anyways. But, I do and this place is great for beer.
There were about ten different beers on tap. I sampled them all, by crackie! Yes I did. Except the light beer. Every beer was solid and good. A few notables were the Skullcrusher Scotch Ale, English style Porter, Common Steem, and the Trailquencher IPA. The only down note was a flat Razz (Raspberry) that lacked the tricky homerun style of fruit ale.
There were about five other patrons in the joint, two of which were swigging RVB's bill paying Coors Light. My barkeep was a week into her job jockeying the taps. She did fine, and made great conversation, but was not knowledgeable about the beers. Oh well. My grub of choice was the house special chicken quesadillas: $7.95 for a plate the size of Texas. Three pints, two six-packs to go, and one plate of grub ran me $31 plus a big ole friendly tip.
While I was leaving, the owner came out and answered every question I could throw at him. I wish I could remember his name. Sorry! Dig this: He actually asked me what I thought about their beers and took time to really listen, then he knocked a buck or two ff my tab and gave me some free swag. Class act! Next time up 87 in NY, I will definitely pop back in.
Last swigs: NYC style flair with tasty beers and quite reasonable prices.
Beer is good. Happy brewpub beering.
06-22-2004 04:39:05 | More by blitheringidiot
2.83/5 rDev -1.4%
I hadn't been here in a while, and only once before. I checked the reviews before going again. They didn't stop me from going, and I noted that a number of them were fairly old. Perhaps they were not quite on anymore.
This is a dive bar, by most accounts. But the cleanliness seems to be improved. I was there at lunch time on a rainy thursday. Their was no one else present most of the time I was there, although someone did come in to eat and drink as I was finishing. I don't know that, in this location, I would have expected much of a crowd. The bartender was pleasant but had no knowledge of the beer. A significant lapse in a brewpub. The food was basic, the burger was tasty. No complaints, nothing to write home about.
They had a fine selection of their beers on tap, 8 I think. I had 4. They were acceptable quality. I thought the demon fuel interesting, too much orange peel and coriander, the maibock too sweet, the IPA not carbonated enough (although not flat). Overall, OK.
For those interested, Neil is no longer the brewer, having moved on around last May. I met Joe (i think) (lost the last name) the brewer, who said he was previously at Gentleman Jims. Nice enough guy. Apparently Neil didn't leave his recipes for some of the beers, notably the house brand Demon Fuel, and they have pieced them together over the last 9 months.
They seem to have made some improvements in the lighting and bathrooms. Although not overly bright, not black as night either. OK, I was there during the day, but it was a rainy day. I was not grossed by the bathroom. The bar was not sticky. The floor, well, I tried not to get too close to that.
I would go back here for a few. Given the dirth of decent beer places outside NYC, its worth a trip when driving by.
04-02-2004 13:39:57 | More by TheJudge
2.73/5 rDev -4.9%
This place is an enigma. Its basically a dump, dirty, sprawling, and run down. the bar maid didnt know a thing about beer. I asked what kind of beer the Demon fuel was, and she told me "its 10%" she was clueless about all the beer they brew...what a shame. On the positive side its a large place with about 5 differant rooms/areas. they get decent bands playing here from time to time. They had a nice big fire place cranking and the brews are decent. We enjoyed a platter of .15c wings that were good and we got to speak with the brewer who was friendly and informative. In an area with minimal other brew pub options this place is worth checking out.
03-17-2004 01:53:08 | More by Billolick
3.68/5 rDev +28.2%
This was an ok brewpub. Large selection of beer, most of which were slightly above average, worth visiting. I do not understand hy they serve bottled versions of their beer at the bar. I was sad to see the large selection of crappy mass produced beer they also offered at teh bar. The mai bock was interesting and their proter and stout were good. My only problem was their lack of a logo pint glasses for sale and they had one of the worst sampler trays. For 5 bucks I got 8 one ounce samples in tiny plastic shot glass cups. Worth a visit if you are going to be traveling on I-87 through new york.
02-22-2004 04:24:03 | More by etho1416
2/5 rDev -30.3%
I have to agree with the previous reviews.The place was really dirty-the bar as sticky as the floor at Yankee Stadium,the cloud of fruit flies over the bar sink,and the lack of a moderately clean bathroom was a real turn off.The dining room was pitch black so I am assuming it wasnt open the particular day i was there.The beers were fair.I had a Belgian Triple and a Scottish Wee Heavy.There was nothing memorable about either one however that was worth mentioning.Id stack my homebrews up against them any day.
It really is too bad.When the place was the Mountain Valley brew pub it always seemed to be doing a great business and the beers were usually pretty good.If anyone knows why the old place folded Id love to know-it closed about 2 years after I moved out of the area but I'm not taking responsibility!!!!!!
12-28-2002 20:35:06 | More by lackenhauser
Ramapo Valley Brewery in Suffern, NY
- out of 100 based on 6 ratings.