Iím a regular, so biased. John is an excellent brewer, and the only complaint (Iím sure heíd make it too) is that they lack the physical capacity to make more and keep everything on. When they began John was experimenting a lot, with a ginger ale, a pumpkin ale, etc. But they became seasonal staples, to the point that he rarely has the capacity to experiment. That notwithstanding, their house brews are excellent, and they carry no macros, on bottle or tap. No bottles at all (except some coolers). The staff are great; knowledgeable, personable, a little edgy. Music is a great addition to the pub, but at times a little too loud. But it brings in the kids, which means more converts to the microbrewery side of the force. The food could use a revision. Iím very bored with the menu (and even my non-vegetarian friends concur). But definitely worth a visit--call ahead to see whatís on right now, because they are often out of half of their house brews. the IPA, Drunken Mon
I always enjoy a stop at the Ale House when Iím in the area. The place is small which tends to make it noisy when a live band is playing. The place needs a/c for those hot, humid Niagara summers. Havenít sampled the food in years. The beer selection is decent but it only rotates one or two features; usually the menu is the same year after year. The Drunken Monkey Oatmeal Stout is fabulous. I find the staff tend to leave you be once youíve received your order. Polite and friendly but sometimes thereís a wait for refills.
The Merchant Ale House is a decent brewpub. None of their beers are outstanding, but they have a fairly good selection and quite a few guest taps. The service is friendly and efficient, but the waitstaff is not overly beer-knowledgeable. The food is typical roadhouse/pub fare--edible & none offensive. The atmosphere is quite nice--somewhat rustic and very much a beer hall.
NIce, somewhat older and gritty feel. Service was adequate, if not incredibly knowledgable. The house beer sampler came with quite large samples, about 4-5 oz. per beer. Food was pretty good, they like to use onions, thats for sure. The beer was decent and they have a handful of guest taps and one cask available as well. Not far from the border at all. Iíll be back.
If you are in the Niagara Falls area, this is worth a stop. Before it gets dark, as its in a depressed tough blue collar town, considered the worst spot in Canada. The bar is very nice, with seasonals that have a good reputation. I lucked into the IPA. The food and the beer is cheap, parking is very easy, and service is tremendous. Some of the dishes were made with beer. John the owner and brewmaster is committed . There were about 12 guest taps, a good selection of what he can get, as he knows his craft beer. There was good variety.
This is an oasis in Brock town, good knowledgeable folks behind the bar and I've always enjoyed at least a couple of their brews (it's been a while, but I recall enjoying the old thyme hockey ale and the stout, my buddy liked the pumpkin ale, I hated it, but then again, I hate pumpkins!). Didn't try the food, dark atmosphere conducive to conversation.
Oakes (800) Vancouver, British Columbia | January 3, 2004| Updated January 12, 2004
Casual brewpub/beer bar is an oasis in St. Kitts. Decent all round, worth a stop if you're in the neighbourhood.