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Gordon Biersch

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Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

41 Hugus Alley One Colorado
Pasadena, California, 91105
United States

(626) 449-0052

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Ratings: 5 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by Boilermaker88:
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I only recently even remembered Gordon Biersch had a restaurant in the Fair Oaks area of Pasadena. I'd last been there about five years ago. Since my wife and I were going out for dinner and a movie, it seemed like a good enough place to go.
GB is located in a courtyard shopping area accessible from a few different alleyways and is bordered by Colorado Blvd, Union St, DeLacey, and Fair Oaks Ave. Parking is available in a parking garage off Union and Fair Oaks.
The interior is dark; dark paint and low light. There is patio seating and the place is divided into an eating area near the front and the bar area in the back left.
Okay, the beers. Gordon Biersch only had four beers on tap, all their own. Two six-spot taps were on the long wooden bar, each sporting two taps of their Golden Export dortmunder and Märzen, and single taps of their Dunkles and Hefeweizen. I started off with the hefeweizen, which was true to the Bavarian style, and also tried a pint of the Dunkles, which was less impressive. My wife had the Golden Export, which I tasted and found to be pretty decent. The hefeweizen was served in the appropriate glass and (thank God!) without the obligatory lemon wedge so many other places seem to think you need dangling from the glass.
The food was pretty good, albeit a bit pricey. They have a smattering of differing menu items from salads to pasta to steaks and seafood. I had a Caesar salad with grilled salmon which was quite tasty while my wife had a cheeseburger and garlic fries. Those fries were screaming of garlic!
The service was pretty good. Our server had to cover the majority of the bar area where we sat. He did a good job, was polite, funny and made sure another server would check on us if he was busy, so we weren't forgotten.
Overall, the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant was pretty good. I'd like to see a wider selection of beers available, maybe a rauchbier or kölsch. Maybe later.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of charlzm
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Visited in the mid afternoon on a weekday. Our young, attractive waitress had a great attitude but was more friendly than knowledgable about my beer questions. We sat on the outdoor patio and soaked up the mid'70's temps and sun (in December! WOOT!) while we had a fairly good pizza and a 6 beer sampler. That there are only 6 beers available at a time is a bit of a disappointment, but not a deal-breaker. Overall a nice place to visit once every year or two since their beers never seem to change much.

 504 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Just a short walk from Lucky Baldwins, Gordon Biersch Brewpub is hidden away in a small center you enter via a pedestrian alley.

Pretty much a nice, clean 'sterile' type of brewpub lacking in a personality of it's own but a very comfortable place to enjoy some quality lagers and good brewpub fare and decent company. No rush, loud crowds, or unruly's here. Just a pleasant stop for food and beers. Some of GB's brews are top notch and they are well worth trying. Be patient, however. Staff is more interested in talking amongst themselves than in keeping the customer's pint filled.

 586 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

I had been here several times when I first moved to the United States in late 2001, moreso whilst I was in the early phases of my So.Cal. beer exploration and “finding my feet” so to speak. Having not actually ventured here for some time, it was a nice surprise to be reminded of its existence when some friends from the UK visited me recently and wanted to spend the day in Pasadena, moreover Lucky Baldwin’s. At the time LB’s was simply packed, so my hungry friends suggested that we head to the Gordon Biersch (they had their beerfly list with them!) and suggested that we eat there whilst the lunchtime rush at LB’s subsides.

Set in a very nice courtyard, the GB is not visible from any road. We had parked in the Car Lot nearby to Lucky Baldwin’s and walked round to the GB, entrancing the courtyard via a small side street from Colorado Boulevard, look carefully above, and you will see the steel arch with the words Hugus Alley above the snicket that will lead you here. The area has some high class shopping outlets and GB is certainly in-keeping with this high-brow feel. It has a very well presented exterior, including the nice outside raised seating area, which always looks inviting on hot sunny days and makes an excellent vantage point for watching the people that have more money than sense. We ended up sitting inside, as it happened at a Table close to the long bar. Internal seating is immediately to your left and right as you enter, whilst the Bar itself is set back to your left. There is a segregated strip area right in front of the bar for drinkers only, which is barely wider than the row of high seated bar-stools it demarcates. Further back, and to the left & right, the area is generally more lively and not for dining. The inside can seem dark at times but the Air-Conditioning works well and is a nice reprieve from the Pasadena sun & heat which can get excessive at times. The Brewery can be seen behind the Bar, rows of stainless vessels standing to attention behind large glass windows. It has a very industrial unit look as you walk towards the back of this outlet.

Beerwise –
Not much of surprise to be honest, even for my well traveled beer-loving Limey friends. They were quite astounded, and disappointed, that for a US ‘cookie cutter’ BrewPub, the range was very restrained and limited by its Teutonic “pedigree”. They expected more. I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with them. I am not that big an exponent of German beers in general. I find that most of them are just variations on the Lager style, often thin and at times, far from challenging and rather staid. I would level this statement directly at the GB also. Don’t come here if you fancy a “big” beer, or even a Stout. The Hefeweizen is passable, the Golden Export, Dunkles and Märzen are all very average, but rather thin and forgetful to be honest. They wash the food down well, but have big shortcomings when imbibed alone.

Foodwise –
Funnily enough, my friends wanted to come here primarily to eat, sit down at a table (sometimes impossible at Lucky Baldwin’s), and have a non-macro beer, or two, that would be something different. For me, that is what GB excels at. It’s a great place to sit, people watch in a rather happening place, and eat good food with some different beer. The Menu is varied and the quality is good. Service was above average and our, rather attractive, waitress even put up with our wretched piss-taking English humor and multiple requests for Malt Vinegar and HP Brown Sauce with a smile, even though she had no idea what the hell we were talking about.

Overall –
Far from bad, indeed, a nice trendy people watching atmosphere, great for food, but just average for the beer, which is ironic given that you would think that this is the one area it would excel at given its name? If you don't like German style beer, you may take well to this place if you are just visiting for the Beer, and not Food.

 3,969 characters

Photo of twilight
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Talk about hard to find! The address gives nothing away, but it is located on the north side of the block surrounded by De Lacey, Union, Fair Oaks,and Colorado. Make a Left onto Union from Fair Oaks and you'll see the sign on your left. Then you have to find parking.

The food was good. As with most places, I had trouble finding vegetarian fare, but decided to go with the Hummus and Goat Cheese Salad. It was huge. Foccacia piled with goat cheese, olives, baby greens, and topped with a mound of yummy Hummus.

We waited a bit for someone, anyone to take our order, but perhaps they weren't paying much attention because it was a slow three in the afternoon. The host finally took our drinks order, and shortly after,

The odd thing about the beer selection was that it was almost all Lagers. Go figure. I tried the seasonal bock, and though it was perceptively sweet like other bocks I've had, it wasn't as full bodied, but it went well with the salad. Of course I'm a ale guy, so I'm a bit biased, but my brother-in-law thought it was quite delicious.

 1,063 characters

Gordon Biersch in Pasadena, CA
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings
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