Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bull & Bones ~ a review

A quick bit of background info: we got married on St. Patrick's Day. One year, for our anniversary, we decided to venture into the world on homebrewing which has now put us on the path of opening our own microbrewery. Now, we've begun a new tradition of sorts: either taking a "brew-tour" (road trip to breweries) or just visiting a brewery nearby. This year we chose the latter.
Southwestern Virginia has gone from having absolutely NADA in the form of brewpubs and breweries to having a rapid string of them pop up. A blessing indeed. So, yesterday we traveled up to Hokie Country (Blacksburg, Va for you non-Hokies ... and if you aren't a Hokie, why are you reading this?) to check out Bull & Bones.
Location: It is located on S. Main in a new development, just off of 460. Good for driving up from Salem. It is in one of those new "outdoor centers" - a wonderful, revamped, and MUCH better version of the old strip mall. Being the luddite and conservationsist that I am, new developement immediately makes me approach with caution, this I liked. There was parking in the rear, easy to get back through to the front, very nice.
Atmosphere: We got up there about 5:30 on Saturday evening, before dinner rush had begun. Interior was very nicely done. Ok - here is where luddite opinion will vary from "the way things are": It was too noisy!! Though the bar is to the left and dining to the right, the ceilings are cavernous and the sound echos .. something not helped by my migraine, I'll admit. However, Bull & Bones is in a COLLEGE town!! It's Blacksburg baby & PROUD OF IT!! So, take it for what it is .. if you want quiet & romantic, this might not be the best spot, but over-all the place is nice.
Food: Now this is where they get a BIG A+! We got their Shrimp & Crab dip appetizer & were REALLY impressed. Normally this dish is pretty greasy and gooey when served at other restaraunts, but this one was awesome!! Justin had the wings for dinner and thought they were good as well. I (Carrie) had the Smokehaus Chicken sandwich - very tasty, though I didn't eat much because of my migraine; their homemade potato chips were also pretty good.
BEER: (Why you're really reading this after-all, right?) We got the sampler to try, just one for both of us, which honestly we thought was enough to know what we liked or didn't ... these are good size samplers (we've gotten WAY less beers at almost every tasting we've gone to .. aside from Starr Hill, so a nice plus here for Bull & Bones). So, here is our take on their beers to date:
*Sun Lit Wit ~ We liked this one. Justin thought Awful Arthur's was a little bit better, Carrie doesn't remember AA's that well, so this was her #2 beer from B&B. Lots of orange present. VOTE: Justin - yes, Carrie - yes
*All Night Light ~ This one was dyed green for St. Patrick's Day. According to Justin "just call it a Miller Lite." Carrie is NOT a fan of American Lagers, and this was no exception!!! VOTE: Justin - meh, Carrie - NO!!!!!!
*Lunch Pale Ale ~ We both liked this one. According to the resident hophead, it could use more aroma, but the non-hophead thought it was ok. I mean, it is Bud Foster approved, and our Lunch Pail Defense is strong, so I'll trust it. VOTE: Justin - yes, Carrie - yes
*IPA (their Seasonal, doesn't have a special name) ~ This one we thought could use some more aroma since it was an IPA. It does have more hops than the Lunch Pale Ale, but it ought to since it is an IPA! VOTE: Justin - yes (and this is what he ordered a pint of), Carrie - yes
*Stricks Dark Lager ~ This one started off nice, and had a nice flavor, but as it rolled around in your mouth it suddenly took on what can only be described as "armpit flavor." A weird combo. VOTE: Justin - meh, Carrie - meh
*Maroon Effect Ale ~ At first we thought it needed some more aroma, but the longer we let it sit out the more the aroma came out, so not too bad. We found it to be a fairly typical brown ale, nothing terribly special, but not bad either. VOTE: Justin - ok, Carrie - ok
*St. Maeve's Stout ~ Great flavor, nice aroma, definitely an Irish stout. We did think it was a little thin, but still a good beer. VOTE: Justin - too thin but ok, Carrie - yes (and this the one that Carrie got a pint of).

Over-all, would definitely go there again. Would be a great place to go and watch the Hokies play while shooting some pool. Their prices can't compare with Awful Arthur's $2.50 - $3 for a pint, but where can? Definitely a good place to go for a night out.

~ A quick side note we found amusing: Another table was being seated nearby and as they walked past our table the girl said "there's a sampler" (referring to the sampler we had on our table) .... one of the guys in the group immediately replied "a sampler of what?" -- Yea. Then, you have us, beer snobs & wanna-be alcoholics (haha). The waiter came up to our table which was full of the beer samples, our pints, and our food. He asked me "have you had a chance to try everything?," to which I replied "... you mean the beer?" -- He was referring to the food. Oops. Justin admitted he thought he was inquiring about the beer as well. -- Yea.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hi, Carrie,

I just stumbled upon your blog and thanks for the review! I wanted to make sure you knew that we got more than one (read as TONS) of comments about the noise. We splurged on sound baffles and have made a good dent in the "cafeteria effect". We look forward to seeing you game day!

Jen Morrison,
General Manager,
Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill