Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing Company
Greensboro, North Carolina
345 South Elm Street
Visited on March 2, 2012
Perhaps my biggest enemy as a brewery reviewer is my procrastination. It’s pretty often I find myself putting off writing up my thoughts about a visit to the point where my experience becomes a bit faded. And this is one of those times.
About a month ago I was visiting my girlfriend’s parents in Chapel Hill in order to attend the Duke/UNC game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. (I know, be jealous.) It was a bit cheaper to fly into Greensboro, and it was on her way to Chapel Hill anyways, so that’s where I flew in to. It also offered the opportunity to go to Natty Greene’s.
Parking is a pain in the ass. We drove around the streets for 15 minutes at least before finally coming on an open spot on the street about a half mile away. Walking to the restaurant, I was surprised by how lively and vibrant downtown Greensboro is. There are a ton of bars and night spots, and a ton of people at them.
Natty Greene’s immediately seemed like a hip, lively joint. Located on the corner of a large, red brick building, the interior features a lot of exposed brick, a high-ceilinged, long-ass room, a bar in the back and not nearly enough seating for their popularity. It was past 8:00 at night and the wait was still on the order of an hour.
Luckily, we slid into a spot at the bar. The service was a bit slow and impersonal, but they were pretty busy and we were on the end, so I give them a bit of a pass. The beer on tap came in a wide variety. Five or six standard ales topped the list that they bottle and distribute regularly. The second half featured six to eight special, seasonal pub brews that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else but the pub itself, which I’m always a big fan of. We went through samples of all of the beers not available year-round. While I found most of them to be solid sessions, none were outstanding and some were downright bad. The lagers and wheats were too light and the IPA was way too bitter up front with a terrible finish.
The food menu is pretty expansive. Your typical pub fare is dressed up enough to make it sound interesting, but not so much as to make it sound pretentious. We went with smokin’ turkey sandwich rounded out by raspberry mayo and Poseidon wrap filled with Mediterranean toppings and shrimp. I’m pretty sure the turkey sandwich came out wrong, as there wasn’t any raspberry in it, and the Poseidon was pretty good, but nothing to return for.
Overall, while I certainly wouldn’t complain about having Natty Greene’s in my hometown, I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit again, either.