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Which Brewpubs Have Good Food?

yes lets switch this thread up into which brewpubs have good food.

the church brew works in pittsburgh has great pizza and pierogies!

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  1. Goose Island, Chicago, IL
    Dogfishhead, Rehoboth, Delaware
    Shed, Stowe, Vermont
    Long Trail, Bridgewater, Vermont (wings were particularly good)
    Triumph, Princeton, NJ (not as good as above, and stick to the standards, ie burgers)

    For the most part, I haven't had a bad meal at a brewpub as long as I stuck to burgers and beer. The fancier, more gimmicky ones have a tendency to have mediocre brews and food.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Caralien

      Lots of brewpubs do upscale (for me, at least) fare, but I'm looking for a good burger. And a good, hoppy ale to wash it down.

      1. re: Caralien

        i gotta say i was unhappy at the Triumph brewery in philly. it was expensive and at the time, summer, neither the beer nor the food was any good. i apologize i cannot remember the beers but i did the sampler and had all that was available in late august and wouldn't have ordered a pint of any.

        1. re: Mr Siegal

          Ive been consistently underwhelmed by Triumph and their beers. The food is a bit better but not much better than mediocre.

          1. re: yankeefan

            I have only been to Triumph once, but I agree. I was underwhelmed with both the food and the beer.

            1. re: afty698

              I like their rye beer, but they haven't had it in awhile. Great burgers though, as long as you sit on the ground floor or near the bar, otherwise the food is likely to be cold and the service elsewhere.

        2. re: Caralien

          Goose Island just hired John Manion (formerly the chef/owner of Mas) as their new executive chef and will be slowly be changing over the menu over the next 6 months to be more "gastropub". They are also planning on expanding their bar to allow up to 24 of their own beers on draught and another 6 on cask.

          1. re: LabRat

            I really miss their kettle chips. Mas closed? I haven't been back "home" since I moved 5 years ago...

        3. Harvest Moon: New Brunswick, NJ
          Dogfish Head: Rehoboth Beach, DE
          Magnolia: San Francisco, CA

          1. 5 Seasons: Atlanta, GA

            1. Stone World Bistro & Gardens has great beer and very good food. Definitely upscale food although the onion rings are great.

              1. Thirsty Bear Brewing Company in San Francisco - I had the best sandwich of my life there - hangar steak sandwich with blue cheese, along with garlic fries. Everything I ate their was great; menu is more of a tapas style. good stuff.

                Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Tampa - pretty decent beer with really upscale bar food. The burgers are really good, as is just about anything on the menu. The meatloaf is one of the best I have ever had and it became the template for my meatloaf. It has chorizo and beef and is topped with fried onion rings. Does it get any better?


                1 Reply
                1. re: UptownKevin

                  I'll agree with Kevin on TBBC in Ybor (Tampa).

                2. Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville, KY has a seriously mean burger and some breath-destroying garlic fries and really, what else do you want?

                  Rich-O's Public House in New Albany, IN has the cheapest menu I've ever seen. You literally cannot spend more than 15 bucks on a pizza, and that's one two feet across with ten toppings. It's nuts. And not half-bad either. They keep their prices low so you'll order that third beer (of hundreds of choices), and damned if it doesn't work!

                  1. Deschutes in Portland, OR. Their beer is great too.

                    Church BrewWorks and Triumph (New Hope) have good food; and it's actually better than their brews imho.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tarelki

                      I second Deschutes in Portland. Had a great elk burger that went really well with my Black Butte XX. Although after a nice, full pour of the XX, my judgment on food may have been a bit clouded....

                      1. re: tarelki

                        I was a bit disappointed in the menu options at Deschutes. I had the elk burger at it was fine, but none of the food struck me as being anywhere near as interesting as their beers.

                        Also, what's up with growlers costing so much money? That was pretty bogus.

                      2. I know this is a stretch for most people but the Kona Brewing Company on the Big Island in Hawaii has excellent food! The pizza is some of the best i've had outside of Chicago. Was there for a week on my honeymoon and the wife and I ate there twice.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: trauty32

                          Going there in a couple weeks, definitely on our list of places to go.

                          If the church brew works in pittsburgh is located in a church I fond memories of going there 11 yrs ago (?) and having my first bison burger. It was great.

                          Don't know if it qualifies as a brew pub, but Brewers Art in Baltimore has excite food as well as their beer.

                          1. re: viperlush

                            Yes, Church Brew Works is located in a church - the brewery saved the building from being demolished.

                          2. re: trauty32

                            I forgot about Kona! Went there to eat after driving across the island to look at volcanos (the winery up there is good too). The pizzas were good...

                          3. I like Iron Hill Brewery. They have really good onion soup on the menu.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ndelson

                              Iron Hill also has excellent pizzas!

                              Dogfishhead is hit or miss - depends on who is cooking and how much they care... and, given, how busy they are.

                              Long Trail Brewery has great chili!

                            2. Brew Brothers, Reno, NV

                              50/50 Brewing Company, Truckee, CA

                              1. Harrison's, in Orland Park, IL
                                Flossmoor Station Brewery, in Flossmoor, IL

                                1. Dock Street brewpub in West Philadelphia, good pizza, good beer, and they only serve pizza!

                                  1. I was surprised at just how good Marin Brewing Company's brewpub was. (It IS in a sort of dolled-up, glorfied mini-mall, after all.)

                                    AMAZING fish and chips, great burgers. Nothing too too fancy, the kitchen staff just really knows their stuff.


                                    If only Russian River's place had more than a mediocre kitchen staff . . . one that knew as much about food as their brewers know about beer. (One can dream.


                                    Russian River Brewing Co.
                                    725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

                                    Marin Brewing Company
                                    1809 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur, CA 94939

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: BeanBoy

                                      "Nothing too fancy"

                                      It's funny how there is this big push for beer to be taken as seriously as wine for pairing with food yet apparently so many craft beer lovers are perfectly content with burgers and fries.

                                      My interest in food (at MANY levels) spurred an interest in wine and vice versa. And although I love beer too it doesn't work that way for me; other than with Belgian beer which has always seemed to have a "beer cuisine" associated with it.

                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                        I don't know how many craft beer lovers are like me, but frankly, I don't visit a brewpub for a meal. I go there to drink beer, and while I might want to eat while there, it's secondary, and I'm just looking for something simple and wholesome to fill my stomach. Clearly, there are many who view a brewpub as more than a bar, and surely the typical brewpub wants it that way, since they're operating a restaurant.

                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                          When you go out for a meal to a place with good beer do you consider or "pair" your beer choice with your meal often? When it comes to beer for me I mostly just order what I like without regard to the food I'm eating whether it's a brewpub, tapas, or upscale. Again with the exception to Belgians I don't make the effort often.

                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                            Same here, pretty much. I might have a big beer with/after dessert.

                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                              Garrett Oliver's The Bremaster's Table is pretty good on the food and beer pairing question....

                                              I've read the other thread where you guys (and some others) went back and forth on this, and I believe, Chinon, you make some good points, and it is true that typical brewpub cuisine makes it hard for a beer-lover to argue with what I take to be your premise about beer and food pairings...

                                              OTOH I don't see a "dark beers go with X" approach as being useful either. It's simplicity and ease of memorization is more than offset, IMHO, by its lack of accuracy...

                                              Garrett talks about pairings in terms of complementing, sometimes, like the way the slight roastiness of a brown ale (he makes a pretty good one) complements the crusty exterior of a roast beef, or the wheatiness and bready yeastiness of a hefeweizen complements the breaded exterior and lemoniness of weinerschnitzel....

                                              and about contrasts in other scenarios, as the clean bitterness of a pilsener might cut through the doughy dumplin-y character of a spaetzel (these are my words, not Garrett's, go to the source for better-written recommendations!)

                                              Re-reading the above makes me wonder if perhaps there's much more of a country-of-origin thing than a style or color thing, ie, I can see a southern German pils, a dortmunder export, a Munich dunkel or helles, a bock or a doppelbock, even a Schwartzbier, ALL going quite well with sauerbraten.... yet they are not similar to each other at all...and I wouldn't want an ESB with it.

                                              But that's a sidetrack...I think you have to know more to pair food and beer than you do to pair wine with food, on the lowest (and perhaps most inaccurate, but serviceable for most establishments) level, the "red with beef, white with fish" level as to which beer has no counterpart. On the more sophisticated level the difficulty is probably equal, but while there are many restaurants and sommeliers pairing wine with food on this level there are almost no restaurants doing so with beer and food, and (your point here, I think) at most brewpubs, places where one would expect more of an effort, the <i>food</i> seems not to be at a level where such attention to pairing is crucial or even, very important. And the patrons are happy, or at least satisfied, with that. This doesn't mean that places like Goose Island don't exist, just that there are far more brewpubs making sophisticated and technically excellent beer, and serving it with, oh, Our Famous Shephard's Pie..... or Ye Olde Pubburger With Fries, ($7.99, plus $.75 for your choice of cheese: American, Swiss, Cheddar or Monterey Jack).

                                          2. re: Chinon00

                                            To me, it's a bit sad and kind of a disservice that someone interested in a lacto-inoculated, wild yeast beer aged in oak with blah blah blah is only interested in getting a burger or some pizza with it. I'm all for the option of burger and fries but I want a menu that's as inspired as the beers a brewpub serves. And just being satisfied with "nothing too fancy" discourages brewpubs and makes it too easy on them. I know it's asking a lot, but if the brewer has the balls to create beers intended to challenge the consumer's perceptions and expectations, then the food should be challenging as well.

                                        2. easy good > excellent food ;no particular order
                                          all Dog Fish Head restaurant/pubs
                                          District Chophouse DC,Capital City Brewing DC,Sly Fox Phoenixville Pa,Iron City Phoenixville Pa,Brewer's Art Baltimore Md,
                                          and two that don't brew,yet support huge varied selections not just one theme or style
                                          Tuscarora Mill,Leesburg Va, Magnolia's Mill Purcellville Va and two that specialise in
                                          Belgian/Belgian Style Max's Fell's Point Baltimore Md & Brasserie Beck DC

                                          1. I've seen alot of PA Brewpubs mentioned here and I was suprised to not see Stoudt's Brewpub. Nice restaurant, good food and very solid Beers

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Chefmonty

                                              oversight on my part,they also host something in the summer that gets raves

                                              1. re: Chefmonty

                                                Well, technically, Stoudt's isn't a brewpub. <g> The brewery was started after the restaurant opened and before PA laws were changed to allow for "brewpubs". (Possibly there was a "Three Tier" or "Tied House" law that forbid an on-premise licensee from having an interest in a brewery, etc.) The way around it for the Stoudt's was that they are two separate businesses, the Black Angus restaurant owned by Ed Stoudt and the brewery owned by Carol Stoudt.

                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                  Excellent German potato salad at Stoudt's......used to stop there back when they were putting their beer in 750ml champagne bottles.....Ed was helping set up a buffet line and got bent out of shape when i asked to buy 5+- pounds to bring back to NC.......like the good businessman he is he eventually accommodated us.
                                                  Been to Victory's several times,and felt the food was hit or miss........this was years ago so possibly things have changed.
                                                  Greenshields Brew Pub (when it was at City Market in downtown Raleigh...before the fire) was usually pretty good for pub fare......loved their Scotch Eggs.

                                                  1. re: Saddleoflamb

                                                    Victory's food has definitely changed; its just "miss" now.

                                              2. World class beers.
                                                Great wings.
                                                Good food.

                                                1. Great Lakes brewing in Cleveland has good food, but I'm not sure if it would be considered a brewpub.


                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Kelli2006

                                                    It certainly is a brewpub, although it's grown over the years into a successful microbrewery as well.

                                                  2. Magnolia Brewing in San Francisco. They put a lot of care and creativity into their food that Russian River and Thirsty Bear (mentioned elsewhere in this thread) cannot hold a candle to. Homemade sausages etc.

                                                    Magnolia Pub & Brewery
                                                    1398 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: lessleyellen

                                                      21st amendment in san francisco makes pretty good beer and a very good burger, as well as some nice individual size pizzas. But apparently like a lot of places, you can easily go wrong if you stray too far away from the basics.