JesseM (43) Ottawa, Ontario | May 9, 2013
74 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
Dropped in here for a belated birthday dinner. The business has died down enough that you can almost get a seat now. Tap selection is decent for wannabe-bourgeois Uptown Waterloo, lots of Ontario craft stuff and some decent imports, but nothing you couldn’t get at the LCBO. Bottle selection is pretty extensive and not horribly priced. They do have some seasonal taps that are rotated regularly so it’s worth asking about that. The staff are quite friendly and the food was delivered in a very reasonable amount of time. The atmosphere is kind of an upscale sports bar but the noise is pretty intense. This would be my only major complaint as I like to actually have conversations when sitting down for a meal. What I appreciate about this place is that the owner, the Charcoal Group, usually runs places that attempt to be upscale but want desperately to not be seen as ’snobby’, which usually results in an awkward failure. But with beertown they have a nice balance and despite their usual tendency towards Molson/InBev products, they actually offer a beer selection geared towards actual craft breweries.
kevinsenn (69) Waterloo, Ontario | November 17, 2012| Updated October 21, 2013
74 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 14/20
Great atmosphere - light fixtures made from Ontario brewery kegs are very cool. Volume level is good at lunchtime, but very loud at dinner time. 4 rotating seasonal taps, plus a bunch of year-round ones, with some good selections like Delerium Tremens and Maudite. Proper glassware for all beers on tap, available to purchase for $5. Servers are very friendly and accommodating, but unfortunately not very knowledgeable when it comes to beer. Some tables have self-serve taps on them, which is pretty insane. A vast selection of beer, especially for K-W/Cambridge, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed in it as well. A few great craft offerings, and a bunch more mediocre craft/macro beers, with a huge emphasis on Ontario breweries. With the exception of a small handful of beers, all the beers here are readily available at the LCBO or Beer Store. I would’ve loved to see other offerings that are harder to find; this would definitely make me come in more. Food is reasonably priced, and very good; the quality I expected from the Charcoal group of restaurants, but at a lower-than-expected price. On a particular visit, the keg of Mad Tom had gone sour (they agreed once they tasted it themselves). They have an infuser, which is cool, but I think they’re still figuring out how to use it effectively.