Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que, Austin TX

Austin is one of the great cities in Texas, known for it’s music scene and night life. My friend, Missy, took a group of us to Uncle Billy’s which combines Crafted brew with Barbeque and Music. Sounds like a winner!

We had a sampler of 6 of their beers: Oatmeal Stout, Bitchin Camaro, Agave Wit, Hill Country Amber, Hop Zombie and the Ax Handle Pale Ale. I really enjoyed most of the beers as they were a little hoppier than other beers in these styles. You can definitely taste the hops in each. For the group of people I was with, 2 drank the Ax Handle Pale Ale which had a great smell and color. My girlfriend enjoyed the Agave Wit, which was a wheat beer with agave nectar. Another friend really liked the Bitchin Camaro, which was an Amber Ale and fairly hopped. The Oatmeal Stout was okay and not really creamy like we expected. The other 3 people drank the Hill Country Amber which was an organic beer. This was my least favorite as it seemed to have no aroma and was fairly bland but my 3 friends (who drink American Light beers) liked it best. My favorite was the Hop Zombie.  It is a very nice IPA that has a citrus flavor to it. While I liked the beers here, most of my group thought they all had a bit too many hops.

We only ate appetizers, but we had the Sausage sampler, which came with regular and jalapeno sausage. The regular sausage was good, but the jalapeno sausage was great! We also shared the Redneck Road Kill, which is a kettle chips with bbq chopped beef, jalapenos and cheese. It was great also. Though we only had the 2 appetizers, the BBQ that we tasted was excellent.

The atmosphere is very good also. It is very busy and they have live music at night.  A lot of well known musical acts show up at their Lake Travis location. The service was good and we didn’t have to wait to be served and the beers came out cold and the food came out fast. Overall a very good choice if you are in Austin.

Beers                    3 Dancing Livers

Food                      4 Dancing Livers

Atmosphere      5 Dancing Livers

Service                 4 Dancing Livers

Total                      4 Dancing Livers

CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing, Ft. Collins, CO.

Located in the great city of Fort Collins, a beer drinkers paradise with the New Belgium Brewery and Fort Collins Brewery, The CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewery http://coopersmithspub.com/ sits right downtown. We heard good things about the brewpub, so we decided to try it out.  They have 2 eating areas, the Pubroom and a Poolside room. The Poolside was closed when we got there, so we headed into the Pub.

They have many, many beers on tap, so we tried out a flight of beers which included the Horsetooth Stout, Pjunabi Pale Ale, Sigda’s Green Chile, Mountain Avenue Wheat, Columbine Kolsch and Marzen Lager. Overall, we were not impressed. I thought it was just me, but my girlfriend had the same opinion. We like different kinds of beers as she likes wheat and ales and I like the hoppier types. She was very disappointed in the Mountain Ave Wheat as she was expecting it to be really good with the bananas and cloves. It just wasn’t very good. The Punjabi Pale Ale was ok, but nothing special as it was kind of bland. The Kolsch was good and it was pretty light, so I could see drinking it during the spring and summer. The Horsetooth Stout was ok and it was very heavy but not very creamy.  I did like the Green Chile beer as it was light, but it had a nice hot lingering left in my throat after I swallowed. If  you like spicy foods and beers, this is a good one. The best beer was the Marzen Lager. It was very smooth and it was easy to drink. I switched from the Kolsch and Marzen for the rest of the evening.

The food was good as we started with our usual Artichoke Dip. It was very cheesy and served in a bread bowl.  It was the best thing we had at the Brewpub. I had the Ring of Fire Burger and it was pretty good. One thing I liked is that they actually cooked the burger to your order. I ordered it medium rare and it had a nice pink center and was very juicy. Nicely done. My girlfriend had the Black and Bleu burger, medium rare also, and it was cooked correctly it was pretty tasty. We asked for sweet potato fries and we were happy with the results.

Overall a decent place to go, but I was disappointed in the beers. Of the six two of them were below par and 3 on par and 1 above par. Their selection is great for a brewpub as the amount they have on tap is much more than most brewpubs I have been to.

Beers                     3 Dancing Livers

Food                      4 Dancing Livers

Atmosphere         3 Dancing Livers

Service                  3 Dancing Livers

Total                      3.25 Dancing Livers

My girlfriend and I decided to check out this brewpub, http://www.mccoyskc.com/ , when we were in Kansas City. It is located in a very people friendly area with people walking on the streets to different restaurants, clubs, bars, etc. The place was packed and we decided to sit on the patio instead of indoors. We didn’t have to wait but 15 minutes so we decided to try a flight while we waited.

The flight consisted of Hogpound Brown Ale, Landing Light Lager, Newcomb’s IPA, Oatmeal Stout , Raspberry Wheat and the Unfiltered Wheat. Karen really enjoyed the Brown Ale and the Light Lager. The Raspberry Wheat was good, but not our type of beer. The Unfiltered Wheat was a true unfiltered and it seemed to be a bit overcarbonated. Oatmeal Stout was very nice as it was very creamy and smooth. It was my 2nd favorite beer that we tried. My favorite was the IPA. The smell of the hops was outstanding and the taste was very hoppy. The color was almost red and it was a good strong ale. Just what the Bishop ordered!

The food was terrific. We started with the Artichoke Dip and it came with their fire roasted salsa on the side. Also the Dip had olives in it, which made the dip amazing. This is my favorite Artichoke Dip that I have had yet. I had the Real McCoy Hickory Burger while Karen had the Reuben. Both were outstanding and very filling. The service was good too. While they were very busy, our waitress checked on us timely and when we were ready to leave, she had our ticket to us in no time.

If we are ever back in Kansas City, we are definitely going back. I suggest you pop in when you are in KC and you will not be disappointed.

Food                  5 Dancing Livers
Atmosphere     4 Dancing Livers
Beer                   4 Dancing Livers
Service              4 Dancing Livers
Total                 4.25 Dancing Livers

Pelican PubLocated on the beach on the Oregon coast, The Pelican Pub and Brewery has a great view, great food and even greater beers.  In 2006, it won the Large Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.   My brother in law took me there and it lived up to his bragging.

I had a flight of the brews (Kiwanda Cream Ale, MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale, India Pelican Ale, Doryman’s Dark Ale, Tsunami Stout and Riptide Red Ale).  My favorite was the Tsunami Stout, Doryman’s Dark Ale and the India Pelican Ale.  The Stout is full bodied with a dark aroma and a very creamy head.  The  Doryman’s Dark was surprising as it was lighter than what I was expecting.  My favorite was the India Pelican Ale.  A nice dark gold color , a great Hop aroma and an awesome IPA that you can savor the Hops in each drink.  My brother in law’s favorite is the Kiwanda Cream Ale, which is very creamy, as you would expect.

For lunch we started with Calamari and the Tower of Rings.  The creole remoulade is fantastic.  For lunch I had the Bangers-N-Mash which were pretty good.  The homemade mustard definitely made the sausages better.

The service was very good, as it was packed for lunch, but we had about a 3 minute wait before we were seated and after we ordered the food came out very quickly.  When we asked about the brews, our waitress was very knowledgeable and suggested the flight when we were talking about which one to try.  The view is on the coast and you can see watch the people playing on the beach while watching the waves roll in.  I think it would be a great view at night while enjoying the brews.  Oh and the best thing?  You can take home any of the brews they have on stock.  So take a trip to Oregon, and bring a big sack to take home and try every one of the brews.

Food                                    4 Dancing Livers

Atmosphere                       5 Dancing Livers

Brews                                  5 Dancing Livers

Service                                4 Dancing Livers

Total                                    4.5 Dancing Livers

One of my all time and old time favorites was The Gingerman in Dallas.  I found out there was one in Fort Worth ( http://ftworth.gingermanpub.com ), so my girlfriend and I went and checked it out.  If you like many different types of beers, then The Gingerman is for you.  They have 67 beers on tap and over 100 more in bottles.  Most of the draught beers are reasonably priced at $4.75 per pint and the selection is fantastic.  Since it was the first of October, they had 5 different Oktoberfests in which we sampled them all.

October is a great season in Texas, so we sat on the patio for the evening.  The service was good considering it was busy, but not packed and we never longed for beers.  The patio allows people to bring their dogs, so there were quite a few people outside with their mutts.

They have a food menu with 4 sandwiches, some sides, 3 salads and “solids”.  We weren’t very hungry so we chose from the solids.  We had the German Bratwurst, the Spinach and Artichoke Dip and some of the Route 11 potato chips.  The homemade kettle chips come in all different flavors and we tried the sweet potato chips which were very tasty.  The Bratwurst tasted good but it was rather small.  The Spinach and Artichoke dip was great.  I definitely will have that when I go there again.

Overall, I love this pub and highly recommend dropping by for a pint or 5.

Beer Selection             5 Dancing Livers

Food                            3 Dancing Livers

Atmosphere                 4 Dancing Livers

Service                        3 Dancing Livers

Overall                         4 Dancing Livers