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Old 03-12-2008, 05:05 PM   #11
shafferpilot's Avatar
Sep 2007
Cincinnati OH
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My main grype with most brewpubs is lack of selection. It's as if they are the only ones making beer. Why not offer some of the thousands of craft brews and some of the local stuff from the other breweries in town? Then there's the one that has special "Beer of the Month"s..... but they always run out of it after a week or two. Second problem is rediculous pricing. I know making beer isn't cheap, but the pubs around here are a little rediculous. Lastly is location. All the brewpubs want to be downtown or in the "party" districts. I think this just makes their overhead higher causing really high prices. I'd love to see a brewpub in the suburbs so that I could afford the time and money to go there regularly.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:46 PM   #12
olllllo's Avatar
Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by shafferpilot
My main grype with most brewpubs is lack of selection. It's as if they are the only ones making beer. Why not offer some of the thousands of craft brews and some of the local stuff from the other breweries in town?
There's a reason for that. It involves a different license (costly) and for sure it would involve having to use a distributor.

Plus they would make far less margins on those other beers.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:59 PM   #13
PseudoChef's Avatar
Apr 2007
West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
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My main gripe here in TN is that they can't brew anything over 6%, so that definitely limits the styles offered. I'm also a 1 big beer kinda guy rather than 4 small beers, so I'm most likely in the minority on this one.

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Old 03-12-2008, 06:01 PM   #14
Uncle Argyle
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Mar 2006
Westminster, MA.
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I've found that the local brewpubs are always crowded even though they have OK beer and OK food. I'd love to be able to go, relax and maybe have a discussion about beer with the bartender or another patron. But they are way too busy and I don't enjoy the hectic atmosphere.

There are a couple of nice pubs that have a decent selection of beers where you can talk to people without yelling. I also find that a lot of the people at the these bars appreciate good beers.

So, for me, atmosphere trumps 'beer made on premise'.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:05 PM   #15
rdwj's Avatar
Jun 2006
Plainfield, IL
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There are only a handful of brewpubs near me. It seems to me that they all tend to play it safe with most of their beers; which is fine as long as there are one or two "out there" selections. They are all about the same as far as food goes - decent quality - not great.

My biggest problem with most brew pubs is that there isn't anything to do in most of them. Some have TVs and that's fine; but how about some pool tables, dart boards, shuffle board and other bar games? There never seems to anything like that at ones I've been to. Having something to do besides beer would bring me back more often - that's for sure.

If I were to open a beer pub, I'd have a smaller bar area with stools, a dining area, a sitting area with comfortable couches / chairs, a decent game area and a beer garden for summer. Beer garden would have horse shoes and bags. I'd stick to bacis foods - burgers, pizza, wings. I'd probably add steaks in there too.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:21 PM   #16

What do you like about a brewpub
Beer still wins, but food is second. "Atmosphere" is a very low 3rd.
What do you dislike?
When the beer is mediocre or just plain bad. Maybe I'm lucky b/c there are a lot of decent brewpubs near me. But I've been to at least a couple BPs that had so-so beeer and one that was bad.

Have you ever been to a brewpub you really didn't like/never went back to for reasons other than bad beer?
Nope. I can overlook most anything as long as the beer is good.

Have you ever been to a brewpub that was "different"? If so, what made it stand out?
Yes, Lunar Brewing in Villa Park, Illinois. It's an old corner/townie/old-man bar. Dark with lots of wood on the inside and a couple of small TVs in the corner. It looks like the place has been there nearly 100 years. It's so non-descript that you drive by it a couple of times before you even notice there is a bar on the corner. But the beer is excellent with a capital E! Food selection? Ha! Anything you want, as long as it's bags of chips, cheese balls, pretzels or frozen pizza.

Was it "too different"? Would you go back?
No. I have been back and will go back again soon.

On a Saturday night, would you prefer to go to a brewpub and sit at the bar, or go to a bar with a lot of different beers you can get "anywhere"?

How about a Tuesday night?
I stay home most Tuesday nights, but on the nights when I might be talked into going out - brewpub.

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Old 03-12-2008, 06:46 PM   #17
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Jan 2005
Twin Cities, MN
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I love going to new brewpubs to try the beer especially when I travel. I prefer the one's that only serve their beer actually.

On the home front I go to a particular pub that is about a mile away from home and have been for 10 years. I'll pop into others around town but always go back to my place. The food is ok (standard pub rating IMO) and there are some good brews and some just ok.

I know almost all the employees. Owner, bartenders, servers, cooks. Some of which have been working there since it opened in '97. I socialize with many outside of their work as well.

I probably get 1/2 of my beers and sometimes food comp'd. They get a big old tip and I still pay less. They'll do that while I'm sitting next to the owner. He knows I spend $ there and probably in the realm of $1000+ a year.

I love my bar and you can call me Norm.

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Old 03-13-2008, 05:05 AM   #18
Kevin Dean
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Jul 2007
Frederick, MD
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My answers are all serious, as silly as they may sound.

What do you like about a brewpub (other than the obvious, beer )?

Redheads. I can drink good beer cheaply every day of the week. I can only get drunk and flirt with the redheads at the brewpub. SWMBO is cool with it, I come home to her EVERY time, after all.

What do you dislike?

I have two brew pubs so this answer is only applicable to one but...

Kids. Since Maryland passed a "no smoking" civil right's restriction, dumb parents have INSISTED that "no smoking" means "family restaurant". I'd rather sumo wrestlers took craps on my table twice during the meal than have kids in the building. I'm SERIOUSLY looking for eateries that have strict "no children" policies that do NOT have strippers.

Have you ever been to a brewpub you really didn't like/never went back to for reasons other than bad beer?

Barley and Hops in Frederick is the one I'm referring to above. Their beer is below-average for brew pubs, but I went back because they had KILLER soup. Couple that with a better than BMC beer and they got my patronage twice a week (DINK with no time to cook and money to spend not doing it). Prior to passing the Maryland Anti-Smoking laws, Barley and Hops implimented no smoking policy (I'm not a smoker). I stopped going there that day and stopped going to Red Lobster that same night, since they TOO did the same.

Have you ever been to a brewpub that was "different"? If so, what made it stand out?

Barley and Hops allows children at the bar. This was different. I haven't gone back.

Was it "too different"? Would you go back?

It eliminated what makes me go to brew pubs as opposed to Denny's. No, I'd not go back.

On a Saturday night, would you prefer to go to a brewpub and sit at the bar, or go to a bar with a lot of different beers you can get "anywhere"?

I don't go out on Friday, Saturday or Sunday because it's always too crowded. That crowding tends to mean more noise and no happy hour.

How about a Tuesday night?

My local brew pub, Brewer's Alley, offers killer specials every non-weekend day. They've got decent beer, low prices, nice atmosphere (minus smoking now... My living room tends to get my business more now that Brewer's Alley) and a limited selection of original on-site brews. Across the street is Bushwallers, a place that usually has a few dozen beers on tap. My craving for either "something different" or "better food" decides and it's frequently a 50/50 chance.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:23 AM   #19
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Jul 2006
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:04 PM   #20
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Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
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I like brewpubs because they tend to have fresher beer on hand, and they often play around a little. I also like to get to know the brewers (if I don't already) and talk about the beers and brewing process.

I don't like brewpubs when they are set up more like a Chili's with an attitude ("Hey, we brew our own beer, so kiss our butt and buy a $9 hamburger). I also do not like it when they have bad beer. I appreciate that they are in the business of making money, and I have no problem at all if they want to have beers that do not scare away the mass market, but do them well and have a couple or a few more selections that make me want to show up.

Yes, I have been to brewpubs I do not like. One was the Chili's with an attitude. Another had contaminated beer or dirty lines and tried to convince me and a couple other long-time brewers that was the way the beer was supposed to taste and that we did not know about "real beer" because we did not realize that. Another had good beer and reasonable prices but uppity owners that give me attitude and kept their brewer stuck in the back all the time. None of those places are around anymore.

One brewpub that was somewhat different and that I liked very much was The Bank Draft, another one that no longer is around. They were different in that they did not bother to mess around with food and that they had lots of other beer on tap. They would have 2-4 of their own beers on, priced fairly cheaply for the Houston market at the time, and then they also had a tap wall of other breweries' beers. If you wanted food, they kept delivery menus around, or you could bring in whatever you wanted. I spent a lot of time in that place while it was around.

Whether I would go to a place on a weekend or a weekday depends entirely upon the character of the place.

Beer is good for anything from hot dogs to heartache.

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