Pub Crawl NYC recently visited Chicago. Here are some of the bar hopping highlights from our trip to the Windy City.
Berghoff – German restaurant with a large bar area. A mix of house brews and some imports. Solid spot with good food, but since it’s located in The Loop, it closes at 9pm most nights
Elephant & Castle – the chain English-style pub. Even though it’s a chain, we like this place because it does not have a location in NYC, and therefore don’t get to it too often. Tap beers are a mix of standard imports and macro brews, but there area a few local beers featured as well.
Poag Mahone’s – Irish Pub that offers nearly two dozen tap beers. This place offers a better mix of local and regional craft beers than Elephant & Castle. Unfortunately, due to its location in The Loop, Poag’s also closes rather early.
O’Neil’s on Wells – Dive-y sports bar that also offers pizza-by-the-slice.
At Pub Crawl NYC, we love visiting breweries. Really, what more fun is there to learn about the brewing process, the history of a brewery and the best part, of course, is the beer sampling! After visiting Sam Adams and Mayflower earlier this summer, we went west to Colorado and visited New Belgium, makers of Fat Tire and other delicious brews. The tour at New Belgium lasts for 90 minutes (definitely the longest brewery tour we’ve experienced) and we got to see many aspects of the operation. Even though New Belgium is the third largest craft-brewery in the United States (behind Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada), New Belgium does all of its brewing in Fort Collins (New Belgium is now constructing a new brewing facility in Asheville, NC, which will serve the East Coast primarily, but it may not be completely up and running until 2015).
What stood out at New Belgium (aside from the quality beer samples!) was the focus that the brewery had on its employee working environment and its environmentally-friendly power usage. On the first point, New Belgium is consistently ranked as a top place to work in the U.S. New Belgium is a privately-owned company (specifically, an ESOP – Employee Stock owned plan) and has a unique Brewing Purpose Statement. Concerning its environmental policy, New Belgium uses renewable energy and recycles water, among other environmental successes.
After our tour at New Belgium, we went to the nearby Odell brewery in Fort Collins. This brewery had a sizeable tasting room, which offered over a dozen beers. Our favorite was the Amber. Below are a few pics from our visit.
Pub Crawl NYC spent a recent weekend in Denver’s LoDo (Lower Downtown) section. We were able to sample a few of the area’s drinking establishments. Below are a few pics from the jaunt around LoDo.
Wynkoop Brewpub offers about 15 taps of their own beer including 2-3 seasonals.
Tavern is a Sports Bar, located in the shadow of Coors Field. Very spacious lower level on the ground floor. Nice roofdeck available in warm weather months (see below). Tavern has bloodymary bar offering nearly 20 fixings!
The next photo below was not a place we visited (it wasn’t open for business during the time we passed by), but the sign says it all.
Pub Crawl NYC visited the New Belgium Brewery and Odell Brewery in Fort Collins (a detailed take on each one forthcoming). We did not have enough time during our visit to see additional breweries, so we’ll have to return to Fort Collins to see the other dozen or so. But, we learned one interesting fact that sets some of these Fort Collins craft breweries apart from their East Coast brethren: The Fort Collins ones are open nearly everyday of the week and for at least eight hours each day. And, visitors can spend as much or as little time as they would like in the breweries’ tasting rooms. These breweries are almost like Napa/Sonoma wineries, in that regard. Most craft breweries on the East Coast are open to the public a day or two (usually only on weekends) and get the visitors in and out in a fairly quick fashion. Space is likely part of equation here. Most craft breweries on the East Coast don’t have much room for a large tasting room. Furthermore, to this Northeast native, life in Fort Collins is much more laid back compared to most East Coast and Northeast cities. What are your thoughts on this, why do you think Fort Collins’ breweries seem more welcoming and accommodating to their visitors?
On a recent weekend trip to Cape Cod, Pub Crawl NYC decided it was worth a small detour north to Plymouth, MA and the Mayflower Brewery. Mayflower, which started in 2008, has four year-round offerings, along with one or two seasonals. The IPA is our favorite. Here are some pictures of our visit. Tasting hours and tours are available on Saturdays, 11am – 3pm. No reservation required.
Great time, friendly staff. The next time you find yourself in or near Plymouth, MA, the Mayflower brewery is worth a visit.
When your visit to the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston is complete, take the party trolley a few blocks south to Doyle’s Cafe. Dating back to 1882, Doyle’s is a classic Boston Irish pub as well as the starting point for the Old Boston pub crawl. A few photos from Pub Crawl NYC’s recent visit:
A recent Sunday afternoon brought Pub Crawl NYC to Heavy Seas Alehouse. Heavy Seas beer, formerly known as Clipper City, has been a quality Baltimore craftbrew since the 1990s. In fact, the first IPA I ever had was a Clipper City IPA and I’ve been a hophead ever since (the staff at the Alehouse was very happy to hear that)! Located in a former factory on the eastern edge of Baltimore’s Little Italy, Heavy Seas Alehouse offers ten taps of Heavy Seas beer, as well as two cask-conditioned ales (there is also a small offering of bottled beers not from the Heavy Seas line-up). Unfortunately, the Alehouse does not double as a brewpub. The beer is brewed nearby in Baltimore County. The place has several dining areas beyond the main bar area. The food menu, featuring a raw bar, offers a combination of bar and bistro fare. The Heavy Seas Alehouse is definitely worth a visit the next time you are in Charm City.