Thursday, October 18, 2012

Brewstone Beer Company


First impression of this place? Loudest. Restaurant. Ever.  Let’s just get that out of the way. If you have a loud kid (as I do), you will not have to worry about anyone hearing them over the roar of the game being played over the speaker system.  There are also a ton of tvs playing lots of different sports, and there really doesn’t appear to be a different dining room for families (or non-bar folk) so you are in it if you are there.  The regular tables sort of surround the bar on all sides.  The interior was a bit nicer than I thought it would be—on the walls where there weren’t tvs, there were large photographs of travel destinations around the country. We had fun picking out some we recognized.

Honestly, I did not have high hopes regarding the food based on everything I had heard and read (42% on urbanspoon--ouch)—but I was pleasantly surprised.  Hubby ordered the fish and chips ($15) and it was good.  There were 4 cod fillets that were beer battered—they had a nice crispy exterior and the fish was still moist inside.  A lot of restaurants use other fish in their fish and chips and often it is too thin to be cooked as long as you need to for the outside to be the right crispiness. These were very good.  The fries were fine—nothing special—honestly we had so much food on the table, we didn’t eat many of them.

I decided to be adventurous, and possibly a little hard headed, and order the tuna poke appetizer ($12).  They had a couple of seared tuna dishes on the menu as well and our server told me they were popular, so I was hopeful that the fish would be good and fresh.  You know, I was pleasantly surprised again. The dish had quite a bit of flavor from their marinade—there was even a bit of heat from what appeared to be chili oil (ok, I did add just a bit of soy sauce).  The dish itself was made up of chunks of tuna, avocado, lots of radish sprouts and thin sliced onions.  It was served with fried wonton chips to scoop it up.  The only bad part was the wontons were stuck underneath the tuna mixture for presentation which made one edge of them soggy. It might not have been as pretty, but would be better off to serve them on a separate plate or something.  I was happy with it overall though and would order it again. I appreciate that in a restaurant that focuses mostly on bar food that there was an option that was lighter and not as heavy and traditional options.

My daughter was thrilled to see that they had a grilled chicken breast option on the kid’s menu instead of just the chicken tenders (which they also have, and which thankfully, she is starting to outgrow). It was a nice little plate with the chicken breast, broccoli and mashed potatoes ($5).  The chicken was well seasoned and shockingly, fairly tender.  And that was a good amount of food for $5 (which included the drinks as well).

My son had the mac and cheese ($5) which was pretty good as well.  There was fresh grated cheese on top and it had a very homemade taste—not sure my son was a huge fan, but I thought it was pretty good for a kids meal.  I don’t often even mention the kid’s meals, but these stood out to me as better than the average options.

Other then the crazy noise level (and I am hoping maybe it was just because it was a Saturday game day), this is a place that we as a family will probably add to the rotation.  Everyone liked it, and it is one of the closest places to our house around. The service was a little slow, and it is a chain (a small one though with currently only 2 locations), but at least on our visit, they seemed to be taking care in the kitchen.  I love it when a place surprises me.

Who else has been? I know several of you have told me about it, would love to hear what you think and see why their ratings are so low.

Brewstone Beer Company
3720 E. 82nd Street
Indy  46240
Brewstone Beer Company on Urbanspoon


  1. Like I mentioned to you on twitter earlier today I was absolutely stunned by your positive review of this place. I was invited to attend at pre-grand opening there, and it was hands down the worst meal (food and service) that I've had since I moved to Indy. I cut them some slack and didn't blog about it because the place was so new they hadn't even served regular paying customers yet. But truthfully they were nowhere near ready for prime time. They were out of the appetizer I ordered. My steak was so overcooked it was inedible. Blase sides. Our server seemed confused and it took forever to get our food. I told myself I'd try it again after they got a few months under their belt, but the first experience was off putting I'm having a hard time convincing myself to try it again. After reading this review maybe I'll give it another shot. A couple of side notes: 1.The ridiculous self-promotion of this place was so over the top it annoyed the hell out of me. 2. With brew in the name I expected a brew pub which is not the case 3. I seem to remember TVs plastered everywhere when I was there so it's interesting that you mentioned otherwise. Maybe they toned it down.

  2. I have to agree with Brent. My boyfriend and I went there for lunch on a Sunday, expecting to grab a pint and have a relaxing meal in between shopping.

    The restaurant was empty other than two booths and a table in the back of a family with a kid. We were sat right next to the family, despite the completely open restaurant, and the child cried about the whole time.

    The beer menu was ridiculous - for a "beer company," whatever that means, you'd think they'd have more than your everyday domestics and one local brew, Sun King.

    Food was inedible. The burgers were very bland and the fries tasted like they came out of a frozen bag.

    I really had high hopes for this place to at least have the quality of a Chili's or Friday's, but that was not to be found. Glad you enjoyed it though - you may have just caught them on a better day.

  3. Brent and Sara, yep I have heard a lot of that from people. I am not sure why ours was as good as it was, maybe we just got lucky, or who knows, maybe they are trying something else. I definitely felt like it was a better option to Chilis or Fridays though.

    I will say though the restaurant was also pretty empty when we were there and it was shocking how loud the music was. And the service was pretty amateurish, particularly considering how (not) busy it was.

    I think we will probably try again at some point though and I will report back the next experience.

  4. Ear Plugs Anybody in Montgomery OHOctober 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    This reminds me of an incident some years ago in NYC. You couldn't hear yourself think due to the music and people trying to talk over it.

    Irate guy was trying to get his check and getting nowhere. Finally he jumped up and screamed at his waiter "Are you f****** deaf?" The response was "You've gotta be to work here".

    I'll pass thanks no matter how good the food. I get a migraine just reading this post Erin.

  5. I went once over the summer and it was average at best. I was asked to meet an out of town friend there for a beer a couple of weeks ago and went. Service was likely the worst I've ever had in my life and they ran out of run of the mill beers such as Miller Lite and Michelob Ultra that some in the group were drinking. And, the beer wasn't very cold. I'll be hard pressed to go back. Hopefully Drake's opening up next door is better or H&I just down the street is better too.

  6. Stopped in late one evening for a quick "wing fix" and a pint. Was disappointed in everything but the outdoor seating. Wings were mediocre flavor, beer options were generic, and the music was crap. Blaring hip hop with offensive lyrics and inappropriate videos on the big screen added to the misery. I felt it was all overpriced as well. I don't understand how a place with so much promise could miss the mark so badly. Why do restaurants never succeed at this location? It must be cursed. It should rival Scotty's brew house, but is worse than Applebee's. Too many other worthwhile options in its neighborhood to merit a return....

  7. I've been to Brewstone twice -- they get one more strike before I never return.  It's already been removed from the lunch options for work due to the 2 horrible experiences.  Bad service (server actually sent a text message while standing at our table, forgotten drinks, eyes rolled), cobwebs on the wall near our table, and a piss poor beer menu for what they tout as 120 taps (more like 120 taps, serving 40 kinds of mostly national lame-o beer).  They did add a lunch menu between our first time and 2nd time of coming in, which helped, and I enjoyed the farm burger (it has goat cheese and roasted tomatoes).