The Quest for the Holy Grain
The Boneyard

 

Alas, nothing lasts forever. Bye and bye, and for various reasons, some of our favorite establishments are forced to close their doors. This then is a page both nostalgic and melancholy, devoted to our Best Brew Pubs, Beer Bars, and Beer Retailers that are no longer with us.
Note: In some cases, the establishment could still be open, but have changed enough so as to fail to meet the criteria for Best Brew Pub, Beer Bar, or Beer Retailer

 

 

 

 

Plzenský dvor
Cintorínska 26
Bratislava, Slovakia

Tel.: 02/ 5292 6591

Plzensky Dvor is a beer bar on a side street near the busy shopping area. It is a long, narrow beer hall in the German tradition. The only English words they know are "Pilsner Urquell." Wait a minute! Is that English? Nevertheless, there are several other draft beers on their menu.

Sadly, Plzenský dvor closed for good sometime after October, 2009.


 

Ironwood Tavern
962 Edwards Ferry Rd NE
Leesburg , VA 20176-3317
phone: (703) 777-6333

Ironwood Tavern resides in a stand-alone building in a shopping center on the edge of Leesburg, Virginia.
The large rectangular bar seats about 25 patrons and also houses 10 flat screen TV's. There are numerous tables for diners.
The taps number 24, and all save 3 are craft beers, including several native Virginia brews.
All the styles are represented, including pale ale, IPA, amber, porter and Belgian-types.
One who wants a smattering of styles can order a 4-glass sampler.
The small bottle selection consist of macros.

Ironwood is ready to entice craft beer lovers even further, and will soon add an expanded bottle list. They will begin hosting beer dinners as well.
I had to ask why a large, attractive woodpile graced the dining room...I thought this was a nice touch. All Ironwood's meats are grilled over a wood fires.

Both yelp.com and foursquare.com report that Ironwood tavern has now closed.

 

Popkin Tavern closed sometime in 2014. Last tweet read, " Anyone interested in purchasing the pool tables please DM us contact information. Thanks! "

Popkin Tavern
123 W. Broad Street
Richmond,VA
804-343-1909 

Popkin Tavern is a beer bar and gastropub in the Richmond sector that I was informed was called Monroe Ward.
The venue, located along Furniture Row, was home to the Popkin Furniture Store until 2004.
The place is huge having a small lounge area in a front window, a long bar, a large dining area, booths, a community table, and a large room with two pool tables in the back.
There are also 2 sections upstairs.
The taps number 24, and are a nice selection of Virginia and other U.S. microbrews and some Belgians.
The bottle list numbers about 60 choices.
Our barkeep was personable, attentive, and glad to answer our questions about the Richmond beer scene.

 

Keith Street Pub & Grille
101 Keith Street
Clemson, SC 29631
(864) 654-2274

This bar, in the small town of Clemson, is a beer drinker's paradise. Brightly lit and fairly large, it's a pleasant place to drink. An eclectic variety of world-wide beers is offered on their twelve taps. Drinking all of those and their 90 different bottles gets your name engraved on their Beer Club. The manager and bar staff are knowledgeable and care about their beers.
As of March 2009, Keith Street Pub & Grille has closed down. Rumours that an incident occurred the night of the Steve Miller concert between a staff member (read: bartender) and a roadie from the Steve Miller crew precipitatated the shut down are apparently just that - rumour...

 

Barley's and Hop's closed in September, 2013.

Barley's & Hop's
5217 Library Road
Bethel Park, PA 15102
South Park Shops
(412) 854-4253

Barley's and Hop's beer cafe is located in a strip mall in the Bethal Park suburb of Pittsburgh. A small storefront, it has one wall lined with coolers; the other has beers on shelves. One can get a cold beer from the cooler, and drink it there, or a warm beer from the shelves to go. In the back is a bar area with 13 beers on tap. Bring a growler. The few small tables seat perhaps 20, with about 8 at the bar and several small tables outside. They have a very limited menu of basic pub grub. At a Friday Happy Hour, one server was drawing beer, busing tables, taking orders, and delivering food, all quite efficiently, with enough time to give out beer advice and ring up six-packs. This is truly a Questor's type of place !!

 

 

 

By 2012, Korova was closed. The place is now called
Silky Jones.

Korova
214 E. State St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 277-7215

Even though the sign now simply reads "BAR" patrons still know this watering hole as Korova.
Located on downtown Ithaca's Commons, Korova features 17 well-selected taps, and the 40 or so bottles round out an excellent beer selection.
Our barmaid was eager to talk beer with us, and the crowd seemed to know their brews.
Original art decorated the walls, and we were informed that the displays change.

 

Blob's Park

8024 Blob's Park Road    
Jessup, MD  20794
MD Rt. 175 @ Baltimore-Washington Parkway
410 799-0155

Blob's Park is a cavernous dining, dancing, and beer hall located between Baltimore and Washington. It was started by Max Blob in the 1930's as a place for his German beer-drinking buddies to congregate. Blob's is not really a "bar" in that it is only open Thursday-Sunday and charges a cover since there is music. But they do have about 80 kinds of beers with about 5 German drafts.
Wunderbar! After being closed for a couple of years, Blob's has reopened. The new convoluted bar seats 30 or more and they now have rock & roll and rockabilly shows, as well as traditional German music. The beer is still superb, and the food is about as reasonably-priced as you will find.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Blob's Park closed for good in March, 2014.

Owner Max Eggerl thanks everyone for 81+ wonderful years!

 

Timothy's is permanently closed!

Timothy's Tap House & Raw Bar
19598 Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
302.227.3435

Timothy's, which is located on Rehoboth's main highway, probably has the largest draft selection at the beach. Although many of the taps were the usual macros, craft breweries like Stone, Dogfish Head, Evolution, 16-Mile, Rogue, and Troeg's were also featured,with about 40 bottled beers as well. The place is one big room, with a U-shaped bar that seats about 25. There were many booths and tables, and the place had a spacious feel to it. A raw bar with 6 types of oysters was all the menu I needed to see.

 

 

Little Prague
Bohemian Restaurant
330 G. St
Davis, CA 95616
530.756.1107

Czech please! The best selection of Czech beers in all of Davis is found in this Slavic treasure on G street. Good drafts in third, half and full liters for sale with a selection of some harder- to-come-by bottled beers from the Czech Republic. Good soups and desserts made by a goddess, for Questors with plummeting blood sugar, and decent food round out the menu

An unusual happy hour featuring any size and brand of beer for $3 provides some nice opportunities for the cost- conscious Questor. Czech is spoken here and the clientele and waitstaff make you think you could be in Prague. The only thing missing is those Slavic gams with the to-die-for calves sculpted by climbing those stony winding streets, and punishing hills, of the real Prague.


Czech out the Fun Facts

 

Simple Simon's
1-9 Church Lane St. Radigunds
Canterbury, CT1 2AG, UK
+44 1227 762355

Simple Simon's brewpub in Canterbury is just off the tourist path. Although they have recently started making their own brew, they have been selling beer for 600 years. Some of the original patrons were still lingering at the bar, but seemed a bit slow in responding to my questions...ALAS, SIMPLE SIMON'S IS NO LONGER WITH US. THE SPOT IS NOW CALLED THE PARROT PUB, AND DOES NOT BREW BEER.


 

Les Brasseurs de la Grand Place
rue de la Colline 24
1000 Brussels
telephone: 02-512.28.00
www.les-brasseurs.eu

Les Brasseurs is a brewpub with a great location on the Grand Place . "The Brewers of the Market" offer beers brewed in-house including a blonde, an amber, a tripel and a dark, and they are all on tap with four guest pours and 26 or so bottled beers. Beer cocktails are also available. The building has served, at various times, as a grocery, a hardware store, and a concert hall. They feature live music each evening.
Our late lunch/early dinner was passable and the house beers were OK, but with Delirium Cafe and A la Mort Subite only paces away, what the heck are you doing here?

Les Brasseurs de la Grand Place closed sometime after October, 2012!

 

 

Brigitta-Brau
Dresdner Strasse 38 - 40,
Brigitta Passage,
1200 Wien.

Tel: 01 - 334 4141

Ach! Brigitta-Brau closed its doors sometime after 2010.

Brigitta-Brau is a neighborhood brewpub in a neighborhood that has seen better days. The place is bright, with three sides all glass and has brew pub decor. The three barrel system is in a room adjacent to the bar. They have one beer year round and five seasonals, noted by their appropriate months, on the menu. They tend to ignore the bar patrons as they serve those dining.

 

Big Daddy's Brewing Company
2229 Colonial Ave
Roanoke, VA 24015
(540) 777-0007

CLOSED

Big Daddy's is a brewpub in a strip mall on the outskirts of Roanoke.
The kitchen is shared with an American cuisine restaurant that has no bar.
The main entrance to Big Daddy's is in the back of the strip mall. The place itself could be described as a country night club.
There is a very large bar that probably seats 30 surrounding the brewing operation. The rest of the large space has two bandstands, and many tall bar-style tables, with plenty of space for mingling.
They have eight of their beers on tap as well as a full line of macro bottles.

 

 

Ouch! Triumph closed its doors in the spring of 2014. They still have venues in New Hope and Princeton, however.

Triumph Brewing Company
117-121 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

phone: (215) 625-0855

The Triumph Brewing Company is an upscale restaurant that serves nouveau cuisine; small portions of unique dishes at high prices. Go there for the beer.
The brewing equipment is upstairs. The first floor ceiling has been recently reinforced with large steel i-beams.

Philadelphia is a beer-savvy town, and most of the patrons knew why they were there. The beer list is arranged from light to heavy, and is generally quite good. I saw some unusual styles, including a kellerbier, vienna, and a rauch weizen-doppelbock. And the restrooms are unique...visit even if you don't have to. This is Triumph's third location, the other two being in New Hope, PA and Princeton, NJ.


 

King Arthur's Steak House & Brewery
Corner of
West First & Bridge Streets Oswego, New York 13126
(315)343-1300
Whoa! King Arthur's Brewery seems to be gone.
So does the steak house.
Hotel is still there, though.

King Arthur's full service bar is attractive and fairly upscale, with 5 of their own beers on tap. The brewer, there since June, is at his first full- time brewing gig. He had been an assistant at other small breweries. All the brews on tap are his, all true to style and rather tasty. They included a Golden Ale, IPA, and an ESB among others.

 

ROOTS CLOSED ABRUPTLY IN 2010 (read more)

Roots Organic Brewing Company
1520 SE 7TH,
Portland, Oregon
503-235-7668

Roots Organic Brewery is the first certified all-organic brewery in Oregon, which is akin to being the first certified atheist in the former Soviet Union. Who cares? Housed in an old warehouse district, Roots is a nightmarishly painted funky little brew pub in yellow, green, red, and blue in an indiscernible pattern.

All the brewing works are right on premises as are a collection of grassy hippie beers any child of the sixties can be proud of. Tables and chairs line the perimeter of the bar; a dozen or more stools defined the bar. At the time of our visit five regular “handcrafted ales” were on tap along with one seasonal, a Gruit Kolsch.

Roots is in one corner of the Beermuda triangle along with the Lucky Labrador and the Green Dragon. Acoustic women on guitar and spool tried their best to ruin the experience but failed. This is a must stop, not for spectacular beers but for a good idea whose time has already passed.

 

Southend Brewery
2100 South Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 358-4677

CLOSED

Southend Brewery in Charlotte, seems to be quite successful. Located in a converted warehouse, there is lots of room, but most of it is dedicated to the restaurant. The brewing operation is visible in the back but not emphasized. They have six regular brews and one rotating seasonal. The beers are true to style, but seem more commercial than passionate. It is one of a chain with other locations in Raleigh and Charleston.

 

The Stable
1821 Cherokee
St. Louis, MO
314-771-8500

The Stable is a very spacious restaurant  in a converted stable; part of the Lemp Mansion in the historic district near downtown St. Louis.  As I understand it, it was part of the old Lemp Brewery, and is located near the Anheuser-Busch works.They have 24 guest beers on tap, and none of their own...yet. The guest beers are all "big" beers and are on an aggresive rotation.  The bottle beer list has about 50 of the worlds best beers.  For lunch they serve a very limited pub grub menu.  The 1/4 barrel brewing system is behind glass next to the bar.  Though the house brews were not ready for public consumption yet, being a representative of the Quest for the Holy Grain, the brewer brought me a helles, and later a kölsch.  He said they soon would be brewing a bock and a dunkel.

DON'T KNOW IF THEY EVER STARTED BREWING OR NOT, BUT THE STABLE CLOSED IN 2012!

 

Buffalo Brewing Company
3100 Olive St
St Louis, MO 63103
(314) 534-2337

The Buffalo Brewing Company is a small restaurant in a strip of collegiate-style eateries.  Small, plain, and very, very well lit, Buffalo has the feel of a diner, because of the many windows.  The brewing operation is visible through a window behind the bar.  They have four year-round brews and two rotating seasonals.  The beers are very good, inexpensive, and true to style. 

UH OH! BUFFALO BREWING CLOSED ITS DOORS IN 2013. IT IS MOVING TO GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS, AND WILL BE CALLED THE SIX MILE BREWERY.

 

Michigan Brewing Company
1093 Highview Drive
Webberville, Michigan 48892
Tel: (517) 521-3600 

CLOSED - MBC CLOSED IN 2012 DUE TO FINANCIAL PROBLEMS!

Founded in 1995, Michigan Brewing Company housed its brewing operation and brewpub until recently in a log structure in rural Webberville. The brewpub had a friendly, cozy atmosphere that seemed to beckon on cold Michigan winter nights, where peanut shells were strewn on the floor and friends could quaff a wide assortment of hand-crafted brews. Owing to their commercial success as brewers, Michigan Brewing Co. outgrew this rather quaint structure, and recently moved to a huge new industrial park building nearby.

On a recent visit, there were just a few regulars in the brewpub on a summer weekday afternoon, although that is not surprising, given the time of day and the rural setting. Owing to the time of day, none of the food was sampled, but the fare looked to be of the basic burgers-and-fries variety. Michigan Brewing Co. has two lines of beer – one that is marketed under its own name, and a full line of Belgian-style beers that goes to market under the Celis brand. Representative samples of each were tasted, and based on the last visit nearly 7 years previously, it is obvious that this brewer has gone from good to great. There were 16 brews on tap – 12 with the MBC label, and 4 Celis offerings.

Also sharing the space with the brewing operation and brewpub is a large fully stocked homebrew supply retail store, (“thingsBEER”), as well as a Michigan State University Bio-Refining Training Center. The bio-fuel produced there provides the heat needed by MBC's brewing operation during the cooking stage. MBC's beer is currently distributed in about a dozen states, and plans are said to be underway for opening a second location in the University town of Lansing. As the company continues to expand based on its excellent beer, the sad fact is that the old log cabin pub might be preserved only in the memories of its patrons.

 

 

Craggie Brewing Company
197 Hilliard Avenue  
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 254-0360

Craggie closed its doors in December, 2012, because their brewer went to Oskar Blues. The space is now occupied by Hi-Wire Brewing.

Craggie is on a side street several blocks from downtown Asheville.
Like many of the breweries in the area they have a "tasting room" open part time. There is seating for about 50 in the bar area but the brewing equipment is roped off.
Craggie features live music, and the band is in the open space, with plenty of standing room.
The garage doors are open in good weather but beer is not allowed outside. The crowd is quite eclectic...young, old, and in between.
They serve four of their regular beers as well as some Test Beers.

 

 

 

Punk's Backyard Grill
2002 Annapolis Mall  
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 571-7744

PUNK'S CLOSED THEIR DOORS FOR GOOD IN JANUARY, 2013!

Punk's Backyard Grill is located in the enoumous Annapolis Mall complex just north of Annapolis proper.
The L-shaped bar only seats about 10 patrons, as Punk's is predominantly a restaurant...very casual with live trees and large windows suggesting the backyard patio theme.
But let me tell you about the beer.
Punk's has 11 taps, with nary a one wasted on macros. The tap list was a well-chosen assortment of American microbrews, most with hefty ABV's. The bottle list exceeded 60, once again carefully chosen and multi-national.
The dinner crowd included families, but every one at the bar was there for the beer, and a few of the tables seated groups of people serious about their brew choices.
Many beers were served in the appropriate glass, and it's a good sign to see copies of the Brewing News close by.
The barkeep was friendly and personable, and the beers were $2 cheaper due to Happy Hour.
Beers are poured in either an 8-oz. or pint serving.
Punk's does not have the largest draft selection in Annapolis, nor would it make the short list of the town's best bars. But for a person serious about their beers, it is a great find.

 

 

Beneluxx Tasting Room
33 S 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 318-7269
CLOSED

Beneluxx Tasting Room is an extension of Eulogy Belgian Tavern, which lies only about two blocks east. Beneluxx boasts the most Trappist ales on tap anywhere in the world. Their total taps number about 35, with about 50 brands in bottles. The innovative twist is that the drafts can be purchased by the glass, or by a sample of several ounces, arriving either in a small snifter or Ehrlenmeyer flask. Beneluxx also excels in pairing cheeses and beers. Never has a Two-Hearted IPA tasted so good as it did with a farmhouse cheddar. The staff was more than attentive, and glad to make suggestions or offer explanations. In a town full of Belgians, this has to be one of the best venues in which to taste them.

BENELUXX TASTING ROOM CLOSED SOMETIME IN 2012!

 

KClingers Tavern
304 Poplar Street
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 633-9197


You probably won't just happen to be in Hanover, PA. You have to go out of your way to get there. The best reason to do this would be to visit KClinger's Tavern.
NOT ANY MORE...CLINGERS CLOSED IN 2012!
With 41 taps that nearly all rotate, and over 600 bottles, KClinger's is one of the premier beer bars in the region. They
serve well-cared for micros and imports, with nary a macro or light. The atmosphere is warm, the beer is cold, and the crowd is friendly...and they know their beer. That's why they are there.

 

 

Shenandoah Brewing Company

652 S. Pickett Street
Alexandria, VA 22304
703.823.9508 - info@shenandoah.com

Shenandoah is the area's first and only brewery, brewpub, and brew-on-premise facility rolled into one. The bar is small, and serves fresh on draft about 8 of Shenandoah's award-winning beers...

Whoa! Not any more they don't!
Shenandoah was sold in 2011. The facility is still a brewery and makes beer for
The Farmer's Cabinet...a restaurant/Beer Bar in Philadelphia.
So long, Anning. Shenandoah was a fun place.


 

Bavarian Barbarian Brewing Company
429 West 3rd St.
Williamsport, PA 17701
570-322-5050

First let us say that Bavarian Barbarian is not a brew pub... it is a microbrewery where a crew of thirsty Questors can walk in off the street, during tasting hours, and be treated to a sampling of Bavarian Barbarian's tasty beers. Brewer and Barbarian Chief Mike Hiller will be glad to explain the brewery's philosophy and processes, while pouring you a sample of his Hammerin' Ale, Headbangerz' Brown, Weldspatter IPA, and Steel Drivin' Stout. The brewery now supplies kegs for local venues, has plenty of room for expansion, and will begin bottling bombers as these words are being written. Growlers are also filled on premise.


HOLD IT! BAVARIAN BARBARIAN IS NO LONGER OPEN...VISIT THEIR WEBSITE FOR A FAREWELL MESSAGE.

 

Muggsy's Mug House
1236 Light Street in Federal Hill
410-528-9111

For those of us still mourning the closing of Sean Bolan's, Muggsy's Mug House has arrived on the beer scene. Occupying the same location in Federal Hill as did Bolan's, Muggsy's offers 18 taps and about 40 bottles for your enjoyment. Danny, the proprietor, promises the arrival of Belgians, firkins, and other sudsy selections, that will attract appreciators of great beer. A large chalkboard lists the ...

Sorry - Muggsy's is closed as of the summer of 2011

 

 

Bunker Bier Hall
41 Earlham Street
Covent Garden, London
WC2H 9LD

Bunker Bier Hall is a brewpub in a trendy London shopping district. Located in the basement of a store block, the facility is quite large. The stand up bar is about 40 feet long. The dining area and kitchen probably extend another 50 feet...too bad the life of the brewpub didn't extend any longer; the space is now Kitchen Italia.

 

Mash
19-21 Great Portland St
London, England
W1W 8QB
020 7637 5555



Mash is a very unique brewpub located in one of London's busier shopping districts. The decor is ultra-modern, and the three-barrel, automated brewing system is on display behind the DJ booth...not any more it's not; Mash is closed and is now a swawnky restaurant called Vapiano!

 

 

Mattingly Brewing Company
3000 South Jefferson
St. Louis, MO 63118
314-881-1500

The Mattingly Brewing Company is a very small neighborhood restaurant in an eclectic mature St. Louis neighborhood.  The total bar/restaurant seating is about 50.  They have 8 of their own beers on tap; the brewing operation is in the basement.  The pub grub was tasty and seemed to be popular with the locals. Unfortunately, Mattingly is closed!

 

 

Swift Half Pub
1001 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215-923-4600

Swift Half is located in the new 80,000 sq. ft. courtyard known as the Piazza in Northern Liberties. During our visit, the Piazza was packed with screaming kids, dancers, vendors, and loud, mind-numbing club music. Since the doors to the bar were thrown wide open, this ambiance insinuated itself into the restaurant. The bar seats about 20, with booths and tables. There were 10 taps, and about 20 bottles. The beer selection was well-chosen and well-delivered. Our visit would have been a lot more pleasant without the courtyard chaos...whoa! Don't get too excited about this one. Swift Half is closed as of the summer of 2011.

 

 

General Lafayette Inn and Brewery
646 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA  19444 
Telephone (610) 941-0600

The General Lafayette Inn is housed in a building whose construction was begun in 1732. The restaurant and brewpub itself is a warren of cozy, comfortable rooms that make even a first-time patron feel at home. At any given time they will offer 8-12 taps of their own beers, and two casks. They included a nice assortment of styles with several Belgians and a raspberry mead ale.
What a dern shame! General Lafayette closed it doors in 2011.

 

 

Clark's Ale House
(315) 479-9859
122 W Jefferson St
Syracuse, NY 13202

Clark's has about 21 beers on a nice rotation; when a keg is done, something different replaces it. Clark's is popular also for their half-gallon milk containers that they fill with beer to go...popular for parades and other outdoor events. They have no TV, jukebox, or electronic games, there is nothing to do except drink beer with your friends. A cask or two will be on tap, and there's always that roast beef sandwich. Clark's has been called a "beer bar set in a lunch counter." It has also been declared that bars like Clark's make Syracuse a great, if underrated, beer town.
Egads! This is a bitter pill to swallow. Clark's closed its doors on 9/25/10 with no plans to reopen, due to an expansion project of the theater which houses the bar. This is not only a loss for Syracuse, but a jolt to the beer drinking establishment, as Clark's was a pioneer beer bar, repeatedly listed in lists of best places to have a beer.
You can read more about it here...

 

The Parkside
4709 Harford Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21214
Closed

Located conveniently near the intersection of Harford Rd. and Cold Spring Lane/Moravia Rd., Parkside is the newest establishment along Harford Rd. that features an impressive beer selection. The place is spacious, with a long L-shaped bar and perhaps 20 tables in a large dining area. Owner
Christopher Cashell has 6 beers on tap, and a comprehensive bottle list offering about 36 more. Needless to say...


As of midsummer, 2010, the Parkside is closed.

 

 

The Tiedhouse
2001 Hamilton Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-561-1002

The Tiedhouse is situated on the ground floor of the Cityview Condominium in Philly's Art Museum area. This beer bar is tied to the General Lafayette Brew Pub in Lafayette Hill and features 13 of the General's outstanding beers on tap. Six guest taps and about a dozen bottles round out the brew menu. There is something for every beer palate, from a light lager to a number of high-octane beers....uh oh...
Hold the phone! Nine months after opening, The Tiedhouse closed for good. Sources from Philly Beer Scene chalk it up to "casuality of location."

 

Cantina del Cabo
139 G Street,
Davis, CA
(530) 756-2226

The Cantina has over 50 beers on tap and all but the most advanced Questors are guaranteed to find a few new beers here. Go for the beer, leave for the ambiance. Featuring plastic chairs and picnic tables, its decor is strictly Spring Break and it is very popular with the UC Davis crowd.
Whoa! Not any more its not! Our sources report Cantina del Cabo has been torn down for an AT&T store.

 

Old Dominion Brewpub
44633 Guilford Drive
Ashburn, VA 20147
703-724-9100

You are not going to stumble upon Old Dominion Brewery by accident...you have to be looking for it. Which is a good idea. They offer 22 different taps, just about all of the beers made here at the brewery. They carry both the Old Dominion labels and contract brews. They also have some bottles. Just about all styles are represented. The bar seats about 20, with a spacious dining area of tables and booths....Wait a minute! Not any more it doesn't! On August 25, 2008, Old Dominion Brewpub closed its doors. According to ownership, as quoted in Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, "the business wasn't there." The Brewery will remain open and public events at the site will continue.

Kevin pulls a cold one

 

Kelly Cole's Improper
253 E. Water Street
Syracuse, NY 13202


Kelly Coles is a beer bar in Syracuse with 60 taps emphasizing local beers. Once a disco, it looks more like a diner, with linoleum tile and lots of windows. There are about 20 stools at the bar and about 25 tables. The patio has seating for about 50. The day I was there the barmaid said that she and the cook were the only ones there. Even so, the service was attentive.
Kelly Cole's Improper closed in February, 2008 for failure to pay $80,000 in state taxes. It is a loss for beer lovers and for Syracuse.

 

Rocky Run Tap & Grill
6480 Dobbin Center Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: 410-730-6581

All locations of Rocky Run are fun places that have good, quenching beers and a reasonable menu. Rocky Run specializes in Canadian ales, and usually have their 5 standards available. Don't look for odd, complex beers here...the brews are all good, if a little similar...yada, yada, yada...
Rocky Run in Columbia surprised many when it closed on August 11, 2008. However, the beer always seemed an afterthought here, especially in the later years. Don't know what will happen to the brewing equipment. The Marley Station location is open as of now, but the bar in Charles Village has been renamed, "Bert's."

 

Johnstown Brewing Company
942 Pinegrove Lane
Johnstown, PA 15905
814-536-3525

Johnstown BC is an interesting place. The upstairs is a dining room with a small bar, the downstairs is a bar with a small eating area. Both have outside seating. The upstairs bartender was very generous with samples. After we ordred our lunch, he disappeared. The server boy got us our next drinks, and the tab. The price and amount of pub grub were what we expected. However, my angus burger tasted like breakfast sausage, and my heap of fries were the worst fries I have ever had; hard on the inside, and soft and slimey outside. The brewing setup is in sight,and is "upside down", in that the lauter and kettle are downstairs, and the fermenters are upstairs. The young brewer has been there a month, coming from John Harvard in Philadelphia. There are 9 beers on tap, as well as Miller lite, and what we had was tasty.
Johnstown closed on June 23, 2008 after 5 years in business. Two rock slides on a local road severely hurt their business. We'll never get to find out just how bad those fries were.

 

Dr. Dremo's Taphouse
2001 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington VA 22201

Housed in the facility that used to be Bardo Rodeo, Dr. Dremo's occupies that niche between beer bar and brew pub. Dremo boasts about 40 draft beers and some half-dozen bottles. They also feature seasonal brews, such as their Chocolate Donut Beer. This is a particular favorite of one of our unnamed Charter Questors, who is taking the idea and running with it. We just don't know where. You may view this Donut Stout below, if you dare.

Dremo's house beers are brewed by Shenandoah Brewing Co. of Alexandria, VA. Dr. Dremo's has been described as an "abandoned warehouse" with "minimalist ambiance." The establishment is also known for their music, pool tables, and happy hours.

Sad News - Dremo's closed its doors on January 27, 2008. Property is being developed. Dremo's is hoping to open at a new location.

 

 

 

 

Ludwig's Garten
1315 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 985-1525

In a town that boasts of it's Belgians and rapidly moves it's microbrews, Ludwig's is an oasis of outstanding German draft beer. The bier menu features about 20 taps and maybe 40 bottles, including such noted names as Jever, Engel, Spaten, Schneider, Franziskaner, and many others of German and Austrian origin...there were

even a few Belgians. Styles included Bock, Schwarzbier, Kolsch, Lager, Weisse, Hefeweizen and Pils.
Ludwig's Garten, the kitschy Center City German, has closed, as the building at 1315 Sansom Street has been sold. The new occupant will be Time, from the owners of nearby Vintage.

 

 

Capitol City Brewing Company
Baltimore, MD
301 S. Light St Harborplace
(410) 539-PINT

Capitol City is in the heart of the tourist district and as a result has to put up with crowds of strangers that don't realize they are in a brew pub. The beer quality varies with the style. Fuel, their barley wine has won prizes, while their amber begins to taste like sugar water after a few. The IPA is true to style. The food portions are large and the service is pretty quick.

As of September, 2007, Capitol City in Baltimore has closed it's doors. Check the other locations.

 

Four Sons Brewery
[Closed - January 2007]
113 South Franklin Street
Titusville, PA 16354

We reviewed the Four Sons Brewery and Restaurant two years ago, and found it to be an intriguing brew pub with good beers and helpful staff. Unfortunately, the establishment closed in January, 2007.

 

Summit Station
227 East Diamond Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD

Summit Station was sold in 2006, closed down, and was re-opened as Growlers. The brewer is the same and the beers are still good

Summit Station is an old brick building located in a nice, quaint part of Gaithersburg. A great place to put a brewpub. There were about 8 styles on tap at the time of my visit. Their beers have won medals, which is no surprise, as those that I tried were very good. The India Pale Ale started out good, but as it warmed up, became superb. They also carry about 5 macro bottles for those who...well, I don't know who would want a macro with all these fine beers on tap. The barmaid was friendly, knew her stuff, and didn't mind serving samples.The crowd at about 2 in the afternoon seemed to be a bunch of beer cronies with whom I enjoyed talking. Most belonged to the mug club, knew their beer, and were there to get a head start on Happy Hour which starts at 4 PM. I will return to Summit Station when I am anywhere nearby


 

 

Jackie Blue
1313 N 2nd St
Harrisburg, PA 17102
(717) 230-9888


Looks forlorn, eh? It is. We visited Jackie Blue after reading that is was a great beer bar. It was. Now it is in the process of being sold. Only one draft - a few bottles - no customers. It should reopen, but not as a beer bar. Oh well, always call first.

 

Sean Bolan's Irish Pub

1236 Light Street
Federal Hill
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 837-4440
Baltimore Location Closed!

Sean Bolan's is most definitely one of Baltimore's top 3 beer bars. With about 12 taps and well over 50 bottles, the selection is well-cared for and well-chosen. Ken is the beer man, and will be glad to chat about the various brews. Nearly half of the taps rotate and a firkin is tapped on Thursdays. Ask about getting on their email list. The chalkboard lists the beers with ABV's, the food is excellent, and the peanuts are free.

Yikes - this came as a shock. In October, 2005, Sean Bolan's closed its doors. They still have the place in Bel Air, but the Federal Hill site is gone! It was a great one.

 

 

DeGroen's Grill
&
Baltimore Brewing Company
104 Albemarle St.
Baltimore

DeGroen's Grille , also known also as The Baltimore Brewing Company has been called the "cornerstone of local craft brewing." BBC brews some of the best German-style lagers around. Brews include Pils, Weizen, Dunkel, Marzen, and always a seasonal, including their famous Doppelbock.

 

Requiem for a Brewpub

DeGroen's Grill, or the BBC, closed it's doors for good on Friday, Feb. 25, 2005. Although there are a lot of great bars in Baltimore; most are long and narrow, having formerly been rowhouses. Beloved as they are, many are of similar architectural style. The BBC was a true beer hall. People were attracted to the BBC for more than the beer, although that would have been reason enough. There was a sense of community and camaradie among the customers.The Mug Club drew both locals and those from the suburbs looking for good conversation and German style lagers. You were certain to meet freindly and interesting people from all walks of life.

I first learned about Oktoberfest at the BBC... and recall festive annual celebrations with Hans und Heidi. Hans would stand on a table playing his bass, leading toasts, and doing the Chicken Dance. The BBC also played host to brewfests of Maryland beers.

The last few years saw management changes and an inconsistency in beer quality, but the regulars remained loyal. The Mug Club may even outlive this tragedy and gather at another venue. I've heard things. But there will never be anyplace quite like the BBC,and Baltmore beer lovers are in mourning.

 

 

 

Ryleigh's Brew Pub & Raw Bar
32-36 E. Cross St.
Federal Hill
410-539-2093

No Longer Brewing Beer

This building has gone through several incarnations since it was Sisson's...Baltimore's first brew pub. People seem very pleased with the way it is now. Still brewing their own beer, Ryleigh's makes 5 standard brews, but will only have about 3 at any one time. There is also always a seasonal on tap. In addition, there are 5 other "guest" taps, and about a dozen bottles, but these could stand to be a little more diverse. Stick with Ryleigh's beers.

Achtung! Ryleigh's closed their brewing operation in the summer of 2005. It is now an oyster bar where macros are very popular. A shame...Ryleigh's, then known as Sisson's, was Baltimore's first brewpub.

 

 

Uncle Tucker's

68 Exit 46 •
Cumberland, MD 21502
301-777-7005

Well, here's something we don't usually do at Quest for the Holy Grain...review a brewpub after it has closed down. We were there on the last day, Nov. 1, to say farewell to this cozy pub in an historic building. This is the at least the third Maryland brewpub to cease brewing in 2005, and Uncle Tucker's 1810 Brewhouse will be missed.

 

 

The Loft/Barnyard Wine and Spirits
7926 Crain Highway South
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
The Loft is a diamond in the rough for beer lovers.

The liquor store features 600-700 different imports and microbrews crammed into a tiny area. Not only 6-packs, but hundreds of individual hard-to-find bottles can be located. They have a small, mix-a-sixpack shelf. Staff is courteous and helpful.

Whoa! Our sources tell us that as of 2/07, The Loft/Barnyard is CLOSED! What a loss! And the building has burned down.

 

 

 

"Life is Uncertain.
Don't sip."

...Lagunitas Brewing Co.

 

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