Sunday, March 18, 2007

Review: Hereford & Hops

What I love best about the regional nature of craft brew is that now, no matter where I travel, I seem to be able to find an interesting brewery, brewpub, beer bar, or brew that I can't get at home. Last week was no exception.

Wednesday evening, we were in Cranberry Township, outside of Pittsburgh, for a meeting on Thursday morning. I discovered, via BeerFly, that there was a brew pub about a mile from my hotel--Hereford & Hops. The Pennsylvania location is one of three--there's a restaurant in Michigan, and one in Wisconsin.

Hereford & Hops is a steakhouse and brewpub. It's fairly upscale, but still comfortable. The decor has a decidedly Irish theme--the bar is offset from the rest of the restaurant and looks very much like an Irish pub.

My co-workers and I were very impressed with the food. Two of us ordered the filet mignon, while Bill ordered the prime rib. In each case, the steaks were cooked to spec, and were tender and well-seasoned. Mine came with a baked sweet potato, which was a welcome break from the traditional baked potato or french fries.

The beers were solid. I drank a Hop Rocket and a Schwarzbier. One co-worker ordered a Whitetail Ale, while another had a root beer. I enjoyed the Hop Rocket. It was a pretty standard IPA. I could have stood it to have a more pronounced hop flavor, but I am admittedly a hophead, so others would probably find it strong enough. I also really enjoyed the Schwarzbier. It was smooth, with a roasted malt flavor that didn't overwhelm. I picked up a growler for some friends back home, as well as a growler of the Irish red.

A note about growlers. H & H will fill your growler and it's reasonably cheap--I think I paid $9.95. They also sell their own growlers, the kind with the flip-top lids. These are $17.95 plus $9.95 for the beer. It was a little more than I expected, but I should have asked about the growler price before I ordered it.

Overall, H & H was an enjoyable experience. The food was excellent and deserves high marks. The beer didn't blow me away, but it was all solid and well crafted. I'd give the food an A and the beer a strong B+.

The details:
Hereford & Hops
1740 Rt. 228
Cranberry Twp., PA 16066


Anonymous said...

i've been to hereford and hops quite a few times. the service is always terrible, and the food is pricey, but tastey.

KevBrews said...

Food was a tad pricey, but our waitress was great--very helpful.