In my never ending quest for the best beer and pub food, it was recommended to me that I check out this brewpub. I visited this place on a Saturday, and it had a good crowd in the restaurant, which has been there for a long time, and the ambiance was ok; a little dated. I ordered up a green IPA, named such for it s hop characteristics which was good, no awards. Then I tried their Stout, which was quite nice, and has apparently won several awards over the years. The food looked sort of typical so I didn’t eat anything…but nice brews.
As a sort of unofficial microbrewery aficionado I made a trip to the immensely popular Pizza Port Originally started in 1987 in Solana Beach. This place has won myriads of awards for the beer. In 2003 the Solana Beach location won the “Small Brewery of the Year” award from the Great American Beer Festival.
I personally had to visit one of these locations, and I visited on a Sunday, and the sleepy little town of Carlsbad was, well, asleep. I visited a few locations to bring some sage advice to my readers who might happen to visit the area and everything seemed pretty slow. As I approached this building there were people waiting outside. I looked in, and there was standing room only, the place was huge square footage wise, but there were literally folks everywhere, nook and cranny. I ended up leaving and coming back later. It was still very busy over an hour later, however I found a coveted spot at the bar, dropped my wind breaker to hold my place, and took a spot in line and waited. I ordered a Pizza San Francisco which had Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni, Salami, Bell Peppers and Onions.
I love Pizza and Beer, and this place provides really good quality craft beers. The pizza was quality as well. Not my favorite style, I am more a Napoleona fan. This pizza is more traditional family style. It uses a softer dough, with not really any snap to it (Typical of American family style pizzeria’s) and the sauce is a thick, pasty marinara with good oregano flavor. They pile the toppings on the sauce with cheese melted over top the ingredients. It was a very good experience. If I were a local I would be a regular!
As an obvious connoisseur of good brew pubs (Which I am still looking for a great Gastro-Pub) I decided to review this new little Big Sur Joint. Located in arguably the most aesthetically beautiful place in the world, this little pub has some great brews on tap, employs a friendly staff, and has really good food, oddly enough (because I didn’t expect it to bee very good).
I sampled the onion rings, which were crispy and good, then I tried the Veggie Burger, which was really simple but great, really good flavor. Then I had the Irish dip, this was fantastic. The bread seems normal, and the presentation is very basic, but the food is fantastic. A must visit!
During my stay in Portland i was trying to get the best microbreweries, I was instructed that I had to visit a McMenamins, and was quite a quirky treat. These Hotels/breweries are built on old renovated historical properties, like the Kennedy School. 35 guestrooms are situated in classrooms and the like in this 1916 School house. These properties are very neat, and i would highly recommend a stay at one of their properties for a unique vacation, some fresh brews, and some good food. Very Neat.
No trip to Portland to review brew pubs and microbreweries would be anything near complete without a stop at probably the largest microbrewery in Portland (Actually the Bar Tender told me that Widmer had merged with Kona and New Belgium. Not sure about the extent of that, but the man who started it all still rides his bike to the brewery every day.
This place is mostly known for their Heffenweizen, which is nice, however it was great to taste some of their other offerings. This place seemed to me to have the most polished brews, very high end, crisp, clean interpretations of style, where some of the smaller brewers struggle with this…
The sausage with cheese dip was amazing, as were the brews…especially the Russian Raspberry Imperial Stout. You have to try that one!! Very nice place. So far my favorite food as well at at a pub.
On the third day of my culinary quest to bring to my readers a first hand exposure to the famed Portlandian Micro-Breweries, arguable one of the best regions for micro-brew in the word, I had to give Hopworks Urban Brewery a shot.
This particular pub stood out because not only were the beers very good, albeit Hoppy (too much so for my tast – like much of Portland - they are organic. They won best bathroom in Portland for the Head rest, which is a recycled banana seat from an old bicycle – Pic below. The have a ton of bicycle themed art, and re-use going on. The food was also very good. I had the southwestern style Quinoa Dish, which was very good….I would return, the food was definitely better the Rogue, but the beer was not…
So, I have been a big fan of Dead Guy Ale for quite some time, I never did, however, connected the Suds Sipping Portlandian culture with this brew (brew ignorance), all I can say is that this place rocks some tasty brews.
I sat down and ordered an Amber Ale, and some WINGS, as I always do at a brew put, it is my first judging point on the quality of the food. This Place served me the wings RAW still, that is right I bit into a raw chicken wing, only cooked on the outside. Gross.
Then I ordered up a bacon cheese Kobe burger, which was good, not great, and I tried a beer sampler. All in all this place was in downtown Portland, had great brew, but so far I was disappointing in the culinary culture that these ale houses endorse…Come on Portland, I need some good grub.
They have great unique brews, including the Bacon Maple Voodoo Donut Ale!!!! Check out the photos below!
Heading up from Mendocino County toward Oregon, I decided to stop at Ninkasi due to its dominance (no pun intended) in the Oregon Market. Their Total Domination IPA is ubiquitous in the Oregon area, every restaurant, bar, pub, it was everywhere. And tasty. The beer has some nice floral notes from the hops with a balance yet delightfully bitter finish. I cant say it was my favorite IPA in the world, but I can say it was nice.
As far as food goes – DO NOT EAT THERE. There is an Italian food trailer across the street, try that. This place serves a few pastries and so forth that taste reminiscent of wet cardboard.
All in all, great beer, beautiful venue, horrible food. Go for the beer!!!
This particular Pub owned and operated by Meredith Maier, her fantastic brew-master Carlos Sanchez and head Chef Mike Ripley. The combo has certainly struck a chord with local fans in this sleepy little Humboldt area restaurant and microbrewery.
Having heard of the brewery due to their popular Chile Pepper Ale brewed with several types of real Chile Peppers, which was a focal point of a Rachel Ray Publication, I wanted to give the brewery a try to sample the food and the other beers that they brewed up on site.
First, I have to say that the ambiance is very nice, bright and festive. I was dining on a Monday night (Sushi Night) and the place was packed! I began with a beer sampler and enjoyed many of the brews. Especially the Chile Pepper Ale, the IPA, and the Stout.
Then I moved on to the food. I started, as I always do, with the WINGS! Delicious, they have them in all spice levels, go as high as you dare!
Then I had a sandwich that was on special…it was seared pork belly, grilled onions, and melted cheese on griddle bread, so amazing…
This is truly a must visit if you are in the Humboldt Area, fantastic brews and good eats, I will return!!!