Place Reviews: Most Recent

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Specific Gravity Pizzeria & Bottle Shop

in Salisbury, Maryland

4/5  rDev -2.9% | Avg: 4.12
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

First time here, despite multiple visits to Salisbury. I like the idea of bottle shop + pizza! But sadly, when we visited in early autumn 2015 they had closed the bottle shop part and are now a pizza-only joint.

The bar is comfy but short, and there are several high-top tables and booths to chill and munch on pies.
24 taps of mostly local/regional stuff, including Evolution (d’oh), Dogfish. 3rd Wave, RAR, Yards, Victory… not too exciting, nothing of note. I like that they offer half pours of their beer, and prices are reasonable at $5-$6 per pint.

Also growlers to go, and the pizza is of pretty epic proportions and remarkable yumminess. Their hot sauce is nasty good, pour it all over your pie!

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Blue Earl Brewing Company

in Smyrna, Delaware

4.24/5  rDev +4.7% | Avg: 4.05
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

One of the chefs I work with lives in Delaware and he told me about this brand-new brewery opening up in Smyrna. So when I had three days off in a row, there we went. Down to Rehoboth and Maryland, with a stop at Blue Earl.

The location is out of the way, in an industrial park seemingly in the middle of nowhere. But the taproom is nice and spacious, with a long-ass bar, plenty of tables, cornhole and the works. A good size crowd on a Friday evening, including young families with babies, old folks and what not.

I didn’t expect to see so many beers on tap. For a new brewery, they are doing well. 12 taps, most all based in music, jazz and blues from down south. Neat idea. And a bit of everything, from a pale ale to a quad and a Russian imperial stout. Some are very good, others are mediocre, but I appreciate their brewing different styles.

Beers are $5, flight of 4 is $10, flight of 8 is $18 and a flight of all $12 is $27! I dare you. The menu is detailed and full of descriptions, the brewery dudes are nice. Must revisit!

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Tribes Alehouse & Grill

in Tinley Park, Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +1.4% | Avg: 4.26
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Larger than the original Tribes, they have a vast selection of their beer and guest beers. Staff is knowledgeable, place is clean and beer consistent. The have a courtyard/beer garden and plenty of parking.

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in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 4.08
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The new jawn from the guys who brought us Local 44, Memphis Taproom and so on. Legit location on 8th and Christian, Bella Vista. Spacious; it almost feels as if they have too much room, or they are never busy. The wife and I sit at the bar- two visits and you’re a regular. Nice folks, it’s their trademark.

They won’t wow you with beer awesomeness, despite their 10 taps. They are more about wine here, and that they do mighty well. But you’ll find a Tired Hands, 2SP, Rodenbach, La Fin du Monde, one of those exclusive collaborations between the Memphis-Local-Coeur guys and a PA brewery, Yards, Victory… fine, not great. My only complaint is that their taps don’t seem to change enough. But I don’t mind drinking wine at Coeur.

Good food, although the new chef is not as skilled as the opening one, Andy Tessier. Pretty fine brunch as well. Not cheap. Beers $6-$7, tab for two with some food around $45. But not bad. I like this spot, even though it is not very beery.

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Race Street Cafe

in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3.71/5  rDev -10.4% | Avg: 4.14
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4

My friend and I were sitting at La Peg restaurant on the shadow of the mighty Ben Franklin bridge, debating whether we wanted to go to an experimental opera somewhere in Fishtown-Kensington. We were feeling more like beer than performance art so we walked up Race Street and ended up at Race Street Café. I had read about this place and seen it on PhillyTapFinder but didn’t know exactly where it was. Let me tell you, I was happily surprised by the quality of this little place slightly off the main nightlife drags of Old City.

A cozy space with personality. Dark on the right spots. Inviting. We bellied up to the bar and enjoyed a couple of brews. 13 taps plus one cask. Nothing crazy but nothing bad: Ommegang Fleur, Alla White, Brewers Art, Smutty Porter, Stone Ruination 2.0, Captain Liquid Gold, Fruh Kolsch… a bunch of bottled beers, mostly crap but La Fin du Monde and Orval. They do flights! 11 bucks for 5 4oz samples. Neat atmosphere on a quiet Sunday evening, but service can be crappy depending on the bartenders and their moods.

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Forest & Main Brewing Company

in Ambler, Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -7.1% | Avg: 4.22
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

We were heading out to Free Will, but the wife had to find a restroom real bad so we exited 276 near Ft Washington looking for a place. Google told me that Forest & Main was about a 7-minute drive away. Lucky!

Ambler is a quaint little suburban town, and Forest & Main rocks the brewpub game with a cool location off the main street in an old house. If the weather is nice, sit outside on the yard or the porch and you could spend hours there relaxing. If it is too cold, the bar and dining room are plenty cozy. This jawn reminds me of those classic country pubs in the middle of nowhere in England.

Seven beers on tap, of which 3 of them are “Of British Inspiration” and 4 are “Of Belgian Inspiration” (fermented with foraged Ambler yeast). I was a fun of the Sailboat Birth IPA, hazy and funky and reminiscent of those unique Tired Hands IPA’s. I also tried the smoked Saison Rainbow Crow and didn’t like it. The better brews appear to come in bottles but are super limited and there are lines at the door during the releases.

Overall, I don’t love the beers here but love the place and will definitely come back. I want to try the food menu. Don’t miss Sundays when they have discounted growlers!

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Binny's Beverage Depot - South Loop

in Chicago, Illinois

4.07/5  rDev -4.5% | Avg: 4.26
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

The wife and I were about to have dinner at EL Ideas, an avant-garde restaurant in Chicago. We debated whether to bring a bottle of something. We got to the restaurant, talked to the dude and he told us to drive to Binny’s, not far away. Well, between Chicago traffic, street closures and assorted bullshit, it took us forever to get there and back to the restaurant. We held back dinner service- I am surprised the chefs weren’t pissed at us.

But back to Binny’s! I am sad I didn’t have more time to peruse this truly ginormous store. Two levels and escalators, need I say more? Turn right and then another right as you exit the second-floor escalator and find a sheer amount of beer. Old Stock, Port-Lost Abbey, the Eclipse series, Bruery, Almanac, Cascade, 4 Hands, Jolly Pumpkin and many more… obscure brews from all over the US, plus all the customary packs and bombers from every big name in American craft brewing. I owe this place another visit, and then some.

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Total Wine & More

in Wilmington, Delaware

3.5/5  rDev -5.7% | Avg: 3.71
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

We went to Two Stones Pub nearby and the Oktoberfest in Newark and I mapped out this store. Smaller than the other Total Wine in Claymont on the PA Border, but they’ve got some goodies here. The beer aisles are right as you enter the jawn.

Plenty of packs, like Palo Santo and Allagash Tripel for 11.99, Fordham, Duclaw, Firestone, Elysian, Heavy Seas, Bells… wide selection of singles too, and a couple of barrel-aged bombers like Funky Jewbelation, BA Ovila, Schafly barleywine, heavy seas greater pumkin… no growlers here, unlike the other DE Total Wine, but what they do offer suffices for your daily beer needs if you live nearby.

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Heavy Riff Brewing Company

in Saint Louis, Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -6.8% | Avg: 3.84
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Dark and fairly well laid out with concert posters and other rock memorabilia. No table service, but they kindly accommodated a group of 10 guys. Decent smoked meats and sandwiches. The beer is meh at best. Sedate saisson and underwhelming IPA. There are much better options for better beer, but this is a decent food or one beer stop.

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Tucson Hop Shop

in Tucson, Arizona

5/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 4.91
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is amazing. Cold beer served by knowledgeable beertenders. Great selection, amazing patio, and family friendly... with food trucks, solid events with local breweries, and a yoga studio just across the way. Be sure to grab some top beers to go from the coolers-- they're a great place to pick up sours especially.

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Foam Brewers

in Burlington, Vermont

4.9/5  rDev +14% | Avg: 4.3
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This brewery should be known as much more than the brewery with a view. Despite being the only brewery with a view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, Foam Brewery has managed to produce a successful brewery without any help from its million dollar location. I've tasted many different styles of beer (and coffee) at Foam and I must say, you can tell the brewers have quality as their number one priority. Each style is well thought out and executed perfectly. I haven't tasted a beer I don't like! I love the selection of charcuterie and the option of ordering from a food truck outside on the patio. My only complaint is I don't live closer!

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in Cambridge, Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.2% | Avg: 4.06
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

a tremendous 100 tap selection. beers served at right unobtrusive carbonation. the culture however is pints or small samples, not ideal for beer nerds.

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Mekong Restaurant

in Richmond, Virginia

5/5  rDev +13.9% | Avg: 4.39
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

One of the best beer places I've ever been to, though their image and marketing don't signal anything of the sort. The website looks like it was designed in the late 90s, and their building's facade is just a storefront in a strip mall in a completely nondescript street in Richmond. This, it turns out, is a good thing.

The vibe is fantastic precisely because it avoids all the trappings associated with modern, trendy restaurants. There was a great article about this recently, detailing how the rise of uniform reviewing platforms like Yelp have led to a worldwide homogeneity in new restaurants. A new, trendy place in New York will have shockingly similar decor and menu to a new place in LA, or Akron, or even Cardiff. The best places, then, are the ones that establish firm images outside of the uniform ratings system, and Mekong is definitely such a place.

The decor is straighforward: medium strength lighting, woody walls, high tops, etc. TVs play sports at a low volume. Were it not for their very impressive collection of beer swag, this would look like any other medium-priced Asian restaurant housed in a strip mall.

This MOR vibe is accentuated perfectly, however, by the staff. They are kind and jokey and rude and profane. "What you want, motherfucker," the bartender said to a regular, and the regular could not have been happier to have been greeted in such a way.

If you're an excessive normie and profanity burns your precious ears, this is not the place for you. There are plenty of new, Safe Space restaurants that are designed to prevent you from suffering a even a secondsworth of confusion or self-awareness. I urge you to consult Yelp to find a list of them.

AndI need to stress: there was no meanness whatsoever in the bartender's tone or intention. He was just being friendly in an unguarded way. And, in an era where "progressive" scenes are rapidly losing their edge and spontaneity in sad attempt to make everything as non-threatening as possible, I found this sort of approach remarkable and refreshing.

But even if you hate that sort of candor and prefer the canned, ersatz vibe of newer beer joints ("woah! they have edison lamps and they're playing the Jack Johnson spotify station!"), you cannot deny the majesty of this place's food and beer.

As for the food: I've never been to Vietnam, but I've had pho in places ranging from Portland, Maine to Hollywood, California, and Mekong's was far and away the best I've ever sampled. Even if the beer list wasn't a tenth as extensive, I'd still recommend this place just for the food.

The beer list is also probably as varied and extensive as any I've ever seen, as their geographic placement allows them to draw from some of the best of the midwest, east coast, and west coast, along with an excellent selection of Belgian brews. They had Alesmith, Bells, and Maine BrewCo all on tap, along with Chimay and Rodenbach. They even had Maine's Lunch, which is really hard to find in freaking Boston.

Overall, I'd rank Mekong in the same class as the big boys: Lord Hobo, Map Room, Three Penny, Blue Palms, Sugar Maple etc. Only their otherworldly vibe and excellent food actually push them to the top of that vaunted class,

An absolute must-visit.

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Night Shift Brewing

in Everett, Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev -13.1% | Avg: 4.44
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

if you are in the area ivrecommend you stop
many beers and styles they out on tap, lots of these small batches. ipas and sours/wilds dominated choices today. tiny bar in terms of seats. many tables insude and outside. you dont know night shift from the modest offerings in bottle shops in the northeast.

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Trillium Brewing Company

in Canton, Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -17.6% | Avg: 4.59
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

this is where you efficiently pick up their latest to go releases. the tap room does not encourage sticking around. the 6 offerings were served perfectly of course but limit if a oint or 4 beers, while you stand about.

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Imperial Oak Brewing

in Willow Springs, Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +6.5% | Avg: 4.3
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Extremely cool place with great beers. Crowlers and limited bottles to go. Looking forward to future visits! Limited parking, but right off a train stop.

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Fort George Brewery + Public House

in Astoria, Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -1.7% | Avg: 4.15
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Hit the Duane Vibe was fairly nice, with the L shaped bar that had room for maybe ten to twelve guest. Smallish in the main floor with some high tables in the bar area and regular tables in the "dining" area.

Quality of the one beer I had was very good.

Service was OK as I stood at the bar waiting for someone to pour a pint. But to their credit they were very busy as we had a 1/2 hour wait on a Tuesday afternoon at 2:30?!? Biz is obviously good there.

Selection was pretty good as I believe they had 14 brews on tap.

Did not try the food.

Overall this is a high quality brewpub with a solid lineup that is worthwhile to be a destination if you are in the region. 3 Way IPA is definitely a winner!

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Draft & Vessel

in Shorewood, Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.1% | Avg: 4.34
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Laid back bar, with a really solid craft beer list and wait staff that know the beer. No food, but can order food to have it delivered here. When I was there I saw breweries that I don't think I'd seen anywhere else.

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Urban Harvest Brewing Company

in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

3.96/5  rDev -0.8% | Avg: 3.99
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Really enjoyed stopping by Urban Harvest last week. The guy behind the bar (the owner/brewer maybe? Not certain) was quite knowledgeable about all of their beers (14 at the time) and the brewing processes and only looked at my slightly askew when I saw I wanted a flight of all 14. They don't have food, but do keep menus for places nearby that deliver.

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Mission Brewery

in San Diego, California

3.99/5  rDev -0.2% | Avg: 4
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

The outside isn't much to look at, but the inside is pretty cool. Old building with deep history. Love the wood and Bricks. Decent selection on tap and nice vibe. Would come back to hang out before the baseball games.

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Surly Brewing Co. Beer Hall

in Minneapolis, Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +4% | Avg: 4.45
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

This is the best brewery I have ever been to, and I have been to well over 100 around the country, its a passion of mine! This place is awesome! First of all, the place is huge, so parking was an issue. Secondly, the atmosphere of the whole grounds is amazing. I showed up on a random Sunday and there was some kind of art festival going on here. Although there is a lot of parking, it isn't enough.

The inside is massive. There were tables and chairs all over the place and it was absolutely packed. I was able to squeeze into the bar to order a beer. I got the Overrated IPA and it was delicious. I sat at the bar for about 5 minutes then took my beer to walk around the grounds.

I visited the gift shop which all kinds of Surly knick knacks. Hats, shirts, beanies, bicycle shirts, underwear, etc. Prices were fairly reasonable.

If I ever had $20 million dollars laying around and was fortunate enough to own a brewery, I would emulate this place if at all possible. If I was a local, I would be here every weekend.

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Sierra Nevada Brewery & Taproom

in Mills River, North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -9% | Avg: 4.43
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Love the atmosphere of this place. Wide open with lots of windows. Large and in charge. What I don't like about it is the small plate or tapas food menu. I don't care if it is hip to serve me three pieces of crostini and charge me $6 for it. How about you serve me a full plate of food and charge me $10. You are not tricking me with your "You can get 5 plates for $30 instead of 3 for $30" philosophy. I see right through you Sierra Nevada! The pizza was pretty tasty. We also got the cheese dip, and, although it arrived to the table literally boiling, in a cast iron mini skillet, and the server said "Careful, this is hot", I still stuck my bread in the roiling lava, inserted into my mouth, and enjoyed the smooth feelings of a scorched upper mouth and blistering tongue. I also got some orzo pasta thing with tomatoes and cilantro and other stuff. Everything was good but I would rather get a full plate of something. The beer selection was outstanding. They had a large board with all of the beers, and they had around 20 different beers. IPA, saison, pale ale, stout, just about anything for anyone.

They also have some common areas to walk around and enjoy. I walked by the hops room and the room with the boilers and fermenters. A large place that would probably be awesome for a tour. I was able to compare my Celebration Ale collection to theirs. Surprisingly, they have more. Mine goes back to 2005 but theirs goes back to '95 or somewhere around there.

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in Maryville, Tennessee

3.76/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 3.81
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

If I remember correctly, I have visited another Aubrey's location, maybe in the Kodak, TN area? It is possible I am mistaken, but if I did indeed visit Aubrey's before, I enjoyed it. This was no different.

Got there for lunch around 11:30 and was promptly seated. It took a minute for the server to approach, which gave me time to peruse them menu and make my selection. I chose the cranberry chicken salad. It was quite tasty. Dried cranberries, goat cheese, grilled chicken, candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette. One thing that irks me about restaurants, is the blatant and rampant use of the term "grilled chicken". FYI, grilled chicken isn't chicken that has been cooked in a skillet and then put in a refrigerator. Grilled chicken is cooked on a grill, with grill flavor, and served warm. Aubrey's is by no means the first restaurant to use this level of trickery, but enough is enough. How about you just say "chilled chicken" or something to that effect. Just because it isn't fired doesn't inherently mean it is grilled!

The beer selection was decent. Local stuff like Yazoo, TN Brewing, and one other that escapes me. Other craft offerings like Terrapin, Highland, and the less crafty Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams seasonal.

The bread they served was kind of dry but my starving stomach didn't complain. Prices are a bit steep. I think it would be impossible to get out of here at lunch for less than $10. Good food with good service.

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in Barcelona, Spain

4.95/5  rDev +0.8% | Avg: 4.91
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

I discovered this place while in Barcelona for a few days. Out of the thousands of bottles they offer, I think they had about two American beers, a couple dozen German/other European beers, and the rest was an incredible selection of Belgian brews. This place was pretty much like heaven to a guy from California who has never seen such a variety of lambic, gueuze, and other Belgian styles just sitting there on the shelves in front of him. They had a broad selection from hundreds of breweries as well as a decent glassware section. Prices for the most part seemed very reasonable. I spent a few hours drinking four bottles of beer while chatting with the gentleman working there in broken spanglish. He even brought me out some free chips and some cheese that was ripened with Cantillon gueuze. The establishment itself is relaxing with a comfortable and warm ambiance. This place was one of the highlights of my trip, and I highly recommend all beer enthusiasts come check it out.

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Bakunin Beer Cafe & Boutique

in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

4.46/5  rDev n/a | Avg: 4.46
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Awesome bar, which serves in large part Bakunin's own (great) brews. Very classic decor, taplist board, etc. 18 taps, with good variety of styles, origins. Bakunin's own beers are more than decent ; I tried the milk Stout and the Sour Saison, and both were right up there compared with what I've tasted in their respective style. +++

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