Firehouse Grill & Brewery

Your Rating: None
Very Good
225 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

111 S Murphy Ave
Sunnyvale, California, 94086-6113
United States

(408) 773-9500 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-14-2005

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by monkeybeer:
Photo of monkeybeer
3.75/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This has gone under several changes since it has been Stoddard and it has finally come in too its own.

A- The atmospheres is very nice ea large 2 level brew house with large bar open kitchen, lots of TV's around, and a general welcome atmosphere. The also have a large patio area in the back.
Q- The quality is good and had improved since they have changed the menu to that of a brew pub.
S- Service was very good and the wait staff is attentive, and able to answer questions very effectively.
S/F- Selection is good, not a ton of items but what they do have they do well.
V- A good value for what you get

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Spaceman_Jer
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Geoffq
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of maxcoinage
4.09/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of Peter_Marinelli
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of brywhite
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of richard_stanton
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of adsomers
2.7/5  rDev -24.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

After enjoying some Firehouse beers at the Rose & Crown and Hops on Rye in bottles (which I love), I went out of my way to make a trip to the brewpub. Here's what I observed:

It was post lunch-hour, so the place was not too busy. We asked to sit at a particular table by the window, which we were permitted to do but no one came to wipe it down--it remained in this un-clean condition for the duration of our visit. We also had to procure our own napkins/silverware from adjacent tables after our food arrived.

The waitress brought us some menus and took our drink order. They had four house beers on tap and some guest brews. We got pales and hefes. I don't remember how long we had to wait for the drinks, but it was uncomfortably long. The waitress returned once to say our "drinks are being made", then again to take our food order, at which time the beers were finally brought out by someone else who roughly dropped them on the table, splashing beer around only to say "oops" and walk away.

I noticed a large banner out front promoting Hops on Rye in bottles, so I asked the waitress how much the bottles cost. She told me they were $6.50 for each 22 oz bottle. I have been buying this stuff for $4.99 at BevMo and another liquor store, so I let her know that. She reminded me that these were "big" bottles (duh). It was a pretty awkward exchange. Why in the world would the brewery sell bottles above retail?

The food was OK. We got five different dishes and ate everything (except the garlic fries, which were very greasy, mushy, and unappetizing).

From what I can tell Firehouse is doing some really cool stuff in the brewing department. I think with a little staff re-training this place would be a good spot to enjoy their products.

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Photo of flexabull
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Big sports bar looking place in a nice area in Sunnyvale.

Quality was decent. I had a Pale Ale that was pretty good, then a seasonal Pale Ale that was not as good.

Service was all over the place. The girl was friendly, but slow, and scattered.

Selection was ok. They had about 6 house beers and another 6 guest beers.

Food was average, at least I thought mine was. My wife and friend seemed to like their meals more than I did.

Prices were pretty fair.

Overall, this place was ok, worth checking out, but I won't go out of my way to go back.

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Photo of leschkie
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here for game 6 of the NBA finals. Looked for a sports bar around the area that I could boot some beers and have some grub during the game. Walked by this place a few times while at the Saturday farmer's market but never went inside.

First impressions were that I thought I walked into a Hooters. The staff were mostly young women wearing the type of attire that made me quite uncomfortable. Definitely focused on attracting the customer.

Had the hoppy ending all night. Very good. Surprised it has as much character as it did. Honestly was expecting just so-so selections, so that was a very nice surprise. The service was quite scarce. Not sure if they were understaffed that night, but it was quite busy there so I give them the benefit of the doubt. Food was decent. I had the mixed greens salad and club sandwich.

Would I go back there? Probably not. I've had better in terms of both beer and food.

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Photo of Durge
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Met my friend Reuel here and had the very special added pleasure of meeting his good friend, the Firehouse Brewmaster, Steve. I will long remember the sampling in the back amongst the kettles and barrels, but for the more mortal experience out in the bar and restaurant area I also will give the place a solid thumbs up. We enjoyed several house brews and all were good to very good. The pale ale was surprsingly and happily hoppy. The stout was a solid example of the style and very drinkable. We also managed to snag a guest tap pint of Deschutes Jubel Beer which was outstanding as expected. There are plenty of televisions spread throughout the bar and dining areas with sports readily available to all. It's a pretty spacious place, dark lighting. There's a beer garden sort of patio out back that looks like a comfortable option as weather allows. The wait staff is dominated by young ladies that may know a little bit more about maintaining their stunning attractiveness than they do about the beer, but everyone was very friendly and reasonably quick. I had heard that this place was not the best food destination but we had dinner and thoroughly enjoyed our sanwiches. Parking seems plentiful with public lots surrounding the block. They have an upstairs for added space and special functions. My visit was hard to beat with my opportunity to meet the talented man behind these brews. But trying to remove that element, I still have to say this is a great place with the beer to match. Like most brewpubs, this is not a place to find an endless number of beers, but for the overall quality of experience, don't miss the Firehouse in Sunnyvale. They have a sister location in East Palo Alto I believe.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I recently went to this established with three friends. It's located on the restaurant row in Sunnyvale on Murphey street. The interior is a bit sparse, simple and straightforward. This particular night, our night of fine dining and intellectual conversation was enhanced by watching several guys pummel each other in Ultimate Fighting Championship cage matches shown on the many large screen TV's about the place. I can imagine this can have a sports bar atmosphere on certain big game nights.

As for the house beers, they are all solid to good. I had a sampler before dinner and the hefe, the porter, and the seasonal stout were good brews. I found the pale ale to suffer from too much grassy hops in the brew, but my significant other, a wine girl who is a closet hop-head, liked it just fine, thank you very much. I'm not the most patient man, and so was pleased to have a pretty energetic and attentive waitress. She didn't blow me away with beer knowledge, but did a great job at our table.

All four of us thought the food was pretty good. We shared a couple appetizers, and each of us had a different entree, and everything was good. I will recommend the ribs, served with a well done tangy barbecue sauce.

I've been to brew pubs that had better beer, and I've been to brew pubs that had better food, but I haven't been to many that had better beer and better food than this one. See you there!

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Photo of willjschmidt
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

A brewpub/restaurant located in "downtown" Sunnyvale. It has a large indoor seating area and a nice, but rather small, outdoor patio in the back. They had about five beers on tap when I stopped in. I tried a couple of them and they were decent. Nothing outstanding about them but both of them were decent attempts at the style, a maibock and a pale ale. The food was pretty good although a bit on the pricey side. Typical brewpub options with a slightly upscale edge to them; sandwiches, pasta, pizza, a few entrees. All in all, a decent option if you're looking for a decent beer and some good food.

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Photo of bbothen
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

This is the old Stoddard's brewery in downtown Sunnyvale.

Large 2 level building. They have a full bar with all the brewing equipment in plain view. About 20 plasmas showing sports. Upstairs is a banquet room. Fairly large patio in the back that has tvs as well.

I like the beer here. As standards they have a Pale, Hefeweizen, Red, Stout and usually 1-2 seasonals. The Pale is crisp & hoppy. The Red is my fav of the standards. Hoppy & well balanced. I enjoy the seasonals the most. I've had the Double IPA, Belgian dubbel, Novemberfest, Nitro stout, Imperial Stout, Maibock, Bourbon barrel Imperial stout!!, and others. You may need to ask with the current special is. Steve, the brewer is a really friendly & cool guy. He's often walking around and will stop by and talk beer.

The food. Well, that's not why I come here and is kind of a letdown honestly. When the place first opened I was really stoked as I live about 3 blocks away. I've had pizzas, burgers, appetizers, etc and been dissapointed every time. I've ordered Calamari a few times for example, one time they're cold & rubbery, next time they're fine. Consistency seems to be an issue. A friend of mine says the ribs are good, but I've never had them. Now I just order beer & catch the Giant's or A's game. No food.

Oh yeah, the also show all the UFC pay per views here. $10. Not a bad deal.

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Photo of phergy
3.5/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Heading back to San Jose from San Francisco I decided to get off at the Sunnyvale CalTrain stop and look for Firehouse Brewery. I had seen it mentioned as a brewpub near the CalTrain station. In actuality it is extremely close to the Sunnyvale CalTrain station; across the street from the parking garage. I stopped in during happy hour on Tuesday, May 13th. The place was busy but not packed. Several large screen televisions showing three different baseball games and a hockey game made it clear that Firehouse is also a sports bar.

The food was expensive for a pub. I had a cheeseburger and fries for $11. I wouldn't have minded, but it wasn't a terribly large or tasty cheeseburger and it didn't have any extra toppings. I've had much better for less.

As far as the beer goes, I had the Firehouse Pale Ale. It had a distinct hop bitterness and was very drinkable. While not terribly memorable, it was a good standard pale ale.

Overall, I'm glad I stopped, but I probably won't go back unless I have a reason to be in Sunnyvale.

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Photo of beerjournl
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

Stopped by on a Monday afternoon around 5pm. They had a few of their beers on tap and a few guest taps as well. We had the red, the stout, and the maibock. All were very good, but not anything exceptional. The irish stout was spot-on to style and was enjoyable. We had the mussels and calamari while we sat and drink, both were good, and were hlaf-price due to happy hour. The mussels had a bit of a strange flavor, that I couldn't nail down, but nobody complained.

Service was sharp and the bartender was a very cool guy. Kinda refreshing after numerous other silicon valley watering holes. Felt like a good neighborhood place to hang out.

Nice area of town on what looks to be a little old main street of sorts. We sat outside and had some cigars that one of our guys purchased at the shop across the street. Enjoyable visit, and better that we expected. Nice place, but don't go too far out of your way for this one.

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Photo of bradybeer
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

Located in the somewhat quant city of Sunnyvale. Walking in the bar is to the right with dinning to the left and a second level to the left as well. Yuppy, silicon valley, money kind of feel.

Only 4 beers on tap-Hefe, Pale Ale, Red Ale, and Irish Stout.

Ordered a small Red Ale and Small Stout-the Red what very drinkable and the stout wasn't half bad either-$4.50 a pint is reasonable. Service was good

Did not have any food.

Would go back -I thought it was a nice place to have a couple of beers

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Photo of bring
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Update (09-27-09): With Steve now established as the brewer, overall quality of the beers has increased quite a bit. The regular line-up of beers remains geared more to the masses, but the seasonal/specialty beers are quite good.

Mediocre, below average brewpub, at least as far as the beer is concerned. I have not tried the food and cannot speak to it. Tried their beers when they were recently opened and found them to be below average, basic brew pub fare. Went back recently to try again and Porter was essentially undrinkable. Thin and off flavors. The place itself is comfortable, seems to draw a fair crowd (yuppyish) and there is an outside area if weather is nice. My sense is that Firehouse is about the scene and maybe the food, but not the beer.

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Photo of GrandSport656
4.47/5  rDev +25.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

nice restaurant, more of a sports bar atmosphere. good clientele, nice people. lots of giants fans :). I was there on a summer night, weather was perfect, people outside at all restaurants.

service was good, no complaints. food was great! I had ribs and mashed potatoes, was really good.

important stuff- their beer is FANTASTIC! the IPA is one the the best examples of a hoppy, American IPA you will find. strong taste, killer finish, great color, a hop heaven. the pale ale is similar- maybe too hoppy for many people, but to me a wonderful american pale. the porter was much too mild for my tastes, but I tried it after the 2 hoppy pale ales, so I may not have tasted it's best. it still had a good roasted malt flavor, very good.

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Photo of oggg
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This brewery restaurant is located in the Sunnyvale Towne Center, the "hotspot" of Sunnyvale. Along the street you'll find a winebar, a hookah lounge, 3 Irish bars, and many ethnic restaurants. Though it is a large two story restaurant with huge windows looking onto the sidewalk, the facade is sorely lacking -- I almost walked past it. The inside lightning is fairly dark on the first level, which has the bar, the large outside patio (3 cigars on the menu), and a couple tables. The bar is very long and fully stocked with other hard liquor and wine. There are at least 2 HD plasma screens among the dozen or so in the bar area. Behind the bar is the brewery. Upstairs is a bit more cozy and romantic and better lit.

Overall it was a dead to mellow atmosphere, though we went at 6:30pm on Valentine's Day.

The brewery offers their beers in pints 4.25, imperial pints, pitchers 15.00, and towers 25.00. The "tower" is a 100oz cylinder of beer. The base has a beer faucet. Pretty cool looking, although I'm guessing it's a chug-facilitator.

They offer 4 regulars and 1-2 seasonals. The hefeweizen had light banana and clove, surprising hop bitterness, and an amazingly strong maltiness (excellent). The pale ale was more than just Cascade (lots of grapefruit, but with something extra). I wish it had some more malt. The red ale was decently malty with chocolate and a hint of roast. The porter was the weak link for me. Real light and chocolaty and not enough bite. The scotch ale seemed like a doubled up version of their red. Thick, chewy, caramel, some chocolate, smooth, alcohol subtle. The double IPA had a moderate grapefruit nose -- on the tongue a ton of hop flavor hits, with a bitterness that is somehow muted at first so it isn't harsh or tongue blistering, but neither is it juicy. The hops surge through and you get even more hop flavor and a restrained bitterness. The malt backbone is strong but lets the hops run the show.

We ordered a margherita pizza and the linguini carbonara, but they were rather average. Service was quick and polite at first, then slowly to a standstill later

Overall: HD TV and great beers are enough for me to come back again.

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Firehouse Grill & Brewery in Sunnyvale, CA
Brewery rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 225 ratings