Awesome Alehouses


Introduction


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This new blog will celebrate the wonderful Alehouses we’ve found.  They don’t brew their own, but they have a good number of brews on tap, and are great places for both beer and food adventures.  Alehouses are a good place to get started enjoying great beer because they have offerings from several to many craft breweries.

The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, San Antonio, TX

The Flying Saucer is the personification of a modern alehouse.  Mostly we have been to the one in San Antonio, but on our cross-country trip last summer, we had lunch at the one at The Lake (Garland, TX).  In San Antonio they have 85 beers on tap at any given time, and they have ‘steal the glass’ night every Wednesday.

On Wednesdays The Flying Saucer is an extremely busy and noisy place, and sometimes finding seating requires creativity.  Fortunately, the clientele is friendly and usually willing to share a table, or make sure you get it when they are ready to leave.  They have patio seating, which is nice in good weather, if you can tolerate the cigarette smoke.

The food here is pub-style, but the quality has gotten better.  They now have a nice variety of selections from finger foods to grill platters, and salads.

We enjoy The Flying Saucer and will continue to visit when we can.  They have a lot of information on their website at http://www.beerknurd.com/.

The plates on the ceiling and walls belong to customers who have tasted (and recorded on a computer log) 200 different beers!  For those who try 400, 600, etc. the plates are painted in a different background color.

There are a couple of additional photos in the album.


Original post September 28, 2010

Brewco, Manhattan Beach, CA

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Finding brewpubs in Los Angeles is not easy, so our hotel desk clerk recommended Brewco in Manhattan Beach.  Brewco used to brew their own beer, but now is an alehouse with an extensive selection of both draught and bottled beers.  They also have a full bar for those who do not drink beer.  The menu is casual food, which is well prepared.

We went for dinner and discovered that parking was very difficult to find.  The restaurant was very crowded, though we did get seated quickly.  The noise level was also quite high.  Part of the the restaurant is outdoor seating.  We were seated right on the verge of the outside.  The service and the food were both good, and we enjoyed the beer.  However, the combination of Los Angeles prices and no original beers means that we would probably not go back.


Visit July 24, 2010

Dinosaur Brewhaus, Vernal, UT

The Dinosaur Brew Haus is more than just a restaurant.   They do dinosaur tours and river runs also.  When we were there as part of our 2009 road trip, they were serving Squatters Beer, which was very good.  The food was good but not great.  We would definitely go back for the beer.  Their food specialty is ribs, which are pretty good.

We can’t give Dinosaur Brew Haus our best review, but it was an oasis when we wanted one, and the beer was excellent.

Their website is http://www.dinoadv.com/


Visited August 19, 2009 

Toro Burger Bar, El Paso, TX

The Toro Burger Bar was recommended to us by the young man who helped us with a framing project at Hobby Lobby.  There are three locations, all in El Paso, and at the time of this writing we have tried only the one on Zaragosa Road.  We have been there twice and had a great experience each time.  They have 25 beers on tap, representing a nice variety of styles and brewers.

Their menu is simple:  mostly burgers.  But oh, what burgers!  We’ve tried their green chile burger and their border burger, plus sweet potato fries.  The flavors are wonderful, and they aren’t limited to beef.  They also have salads and sides on their menu, along with non-alcoholic beverages and desserts.

They also have glasses specific to some of their beers.  That doesn’t make the beers taste any better, but it does add a nice touch.  We have found several of our favorite beers there, like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Lindemann’s Framboise, and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA.  The beer menu does change periodically,but the selection is always good and designed to suit a variety of tastes.

Toro Burger Bar also has several TVs mounted on the walls so you can keep up with coverage of your favorite sports.  It is really nice to have a good local alehouse.

More details can be found on their website at: http://www.toroburgerbar.com/home/

Hopefully the chain will be expanding beyond El Paso; the website indicates that there will soon be franchise opportunities.

UPDATE:  We have since tried the location over near UTEP and the location on Montana.  They are all equally good, although the one near the university clearly caters to a younger set.

UPDATE: as of 2016 only the Montana location remained open.  In 2017 they have opened a new location on Zaragosa Rd. North.

There are a few additional photos in the album here.

Originally posted September 28, 2010

Capital Ale House, Richmond, VA

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Capital Alehouse has three locations in the Richmond area plus one in Fredericksburg, VA.  Our experience has been with the location in Innsbruck, which is easily found on Cox Road near the intersection with Broad Street.  

We don’t remember how we found it, but Capital Alehouse turned out to be a great find.  We probably first went there because they have a ‘steal the glass night’ every week.  We returned often when in the area because we always had great food as well as a huge selection of beer.  Another factor in our regular visits was our waiter, Josh, who had been trained as a sommelier and who was transferring his knowledge to beer.  When he found out we were really interested in good beer, he set out to educate us and had us trying all sorts of different beers.

Capital Alehouse generally has 50 beers on tap, plus a huge variety of beers in bottles and cans.  They are also a really good restaurant, with an imaginative chef.  In addition to their regular menu, they always have a couple of specials on a blackboard just outside the entrance, and those specials are excellent.

They also serve some wonderful desserts.  I think this slice of carrot cake could easily serve four people.  Most restaurant desserts are not worth ordering, but the ones at Capital Alehouse are very good, and of course they have an excellent selection of beers that go very well with dessert.

Steal the glass night is on Tuesdays.  They post the breweries on their website calendar, so you can plan ahead if you are picky about your beer glass collection.  Their website is at http://capitalalehouse.com/.

Capital Alehouse is always crowded on steal the glass night, but we have never had to wait very long to be seated.  During good-weather seasons they can use their large patio, which is a pleasant seating alternative.

Post-Script:  We have returned to Capital Ale House on August 1, 2011, a Monday night.  The place was an absolute zoo because it was burger night.  On burger night you can get a burger for $2 with the purchase of a beverage.  As always they had a great selection of beer and great service.  The burger was excellent, and the big chocolate cake, which we had for dessert was wonderful.  This visit reminded us of why we’ve always enjoyed going there.



Originally posted September 28, 2010

Howard’s Pub, Ocracoke Island, NC


If you are on Ocracoke Island, Howard’s Pub & Raw Bar is a great place to visit.  If you are not already on the island, it is a long way from nowhere.  We visited when we went to see the Ocracoke Lighthouse, and had a great time.  The staff and customers were all friendly.  The decor is an unusual collection of memorabilia, including beer signs and license plates.  

The food here is not the greatest, but it is okay, based on the Caesar salad we had.  They have a good selection of beer, with 24 beers on draft, and 200 bottled beers.  There is also a fairly extensive wine list.  The menu is quite extensive and features a lot of locally caught seafood, in addition to all the regular menu items like burgers, subs and salads.  They also have a kids’ menu.

There is an up-side to taking the ferry over to Ocracoke: we experienced a beautiful sunset on the way home and also enjoyed the crowd of laughing gulls that follow the ferry, hoping for handouts.

You can find the Howard’s Pub website at http://www.howardspub.com/ordereze/default.aspx  

UPdATE: we have returned to Howard’s Pub many times, and have come to really enjoy it, including the food.



Original post September 28, 2010

Yard House, San Antonio, TX

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The first Yardhouse opened in Long Beach, CA in 1996.  From there they have spread over California and to nine other states.  There are several more stores scheduled to open soon.

In San Antonio, Yardhouse is located in the Shops at La Cantera, just off I-10 on the west side of the city.

Yardhouse is serious about their beer: they keep 120 beers on tap, in a wide variety of styles, so there is something for every beer drinker.  For those who don’t drink beer, they have wine and a selection of other bar drinks, as well as the usual non-alcoholic drinks.

Yardhouse is equally serious about their food, and their offerings are truly gourmet.  We have been there for both lunch and dinner, and the food has always been spectacular.  Particularly memorable was the dessert sampler we had at lunch one day.  They have sandwiches and burgers as well as a full range of other entrees, including pizza and seafood.

When we’ve been there the service has been excellent.  Children are welcome, and they do have a kids’ menu.  We will be going back when we have the opportunity.

You can visit their website at http://www.yardhouse.com/default.aspx

Original post September 28, 2010

Westville Pub, Asheville, N


After learning that Asheville, NC is a mecca for craft brewers, we decided that on our next trip through Asheville, we would stop and get acquainted with some of their microbreweries.  There are nine microbreweries here, so we have our work cut out for us.

For our first evening, we decided to go to the Westville Pub, since they feature beers from North Carolina breweries, and we needed dinner.

Besides the local beers, the pub features a billiards room and live music most evenings.  We visited on Tuesday evening, when the live music was a blues jam.  We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the music.  

For dinner we tried the Caesar salad with blackened chicken, and a couple of buffalo sliders, which came with fries.  The sliders were excellent, as was the chicken; the salad wasn’t as good as some Caesar salads we’ve had, but it was still decent.  We tried four local beers:  Pisgah Stout, Wedge Iron Rail IPA, Catawba Coconut Porter (not local to Asheville), and French Broad Wee Heavy.  We really enjoyed all but the Coconut Porter, which was interesting, but not great.

The pub also has a back patio which is nice for those who smoke.  We found the customers and staff to be friendly and we experienced excellent service.  We had a great time and would enjoy going back again.  The bar also serves liquor and wine, plus a nice selection of draught and bottled beer that are not local.

So you can get a taste of the music, we have included a short video.  As you can see, many of the customers enjoy dancing to the music.

We would definitely choose to come back to the Westville Pub when we are in town.  It is a very enjoyable place to visit.

They have a website at http://www.westvillepub.com/ which covers anything you might want to know about them.  And there are more photos in this album.


Original visit June 28, 2011

Pasquale Pizza & Pub, Corolla, NC

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Pasquale Pizza is the current incarnation of what used to be the Corolla Brewpub.  When you walk in it is identical to what it used to be.  For those who go way back, it was originally the Weeping Radish Bavarian Restaurant.

The menu is Italian.  We tried the ‘Il Toscano’ sandwich, which was very good.  We also tried a couple of the local beers they have on tap, and were very pleased with those, also.  The beers were served in logo glasses from their respective breweries.  We must comment that the sandwich was just the sandwich, not even a dill pickle on the side, but that was okay, just a bit unexpected.  In addition to the local brews on tap, they also have a variety of bottled craft and other beers, and they serve wine.  

The staff was friendly and the service was good.  We were there for a midweek lunch.  Over all, it was a very nice experience.

They have a website at  http://www.pasqualespizzaandpub.com/,  where you can peruse their menu.  

UPDATE:  As of 2016 Pasquale Pizza is no longer in business.

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Original post July 27, 2011


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