Alcatraz Brewing Company
Indianapolis, Indiana
Visited on January 13, 2008

Keeping on the tradition of reviewing places early in the alphabet and early in my career, today we’re headed to Indianapolis. And I’m also going to continue another tradition – putting up a new post that is so far in the past I barely remember anything about it and it probably isn’t even relevant anymore.

That being said, I was very unimpressed with Alcatraz. I stopped in after a weekend visiting my sister while a football game was on TV. I remember not really enjoying a single one of the beers. I also remember thinking the reuben calzone was crap. Unimpressive beer with bad food leads to bad marks.

And now that I search for its location and website, I see that it’s closed. Not surprised.

Original Review

Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, the brewpub features large pictures of San Francisco and its namesake. The decorations aren’t your traditional hometown montage, but they aren’t that inspiring either. The place seemed a bit small for a downtown restaurant. But there are several televisions, though few (if any) plasma screens. Come on, get with the times!

I’m not sure how the menu is indicative of San Francisco, because I lived there for a summer, and nothing on the menu reminded me of my stay. I ordered a reuben calzone because it sounded interesting, but there was nothing special about it. In fact, it was slightly burnt, and all of the cheese was stuck in one end, which made for a great final bite, but lost something for the rest of the experience. The potato salad that came with it was killer though, complete with some great bacon.

Nothing special about the brews here. Sure, they’re better than your average Bud, but there’s nothing that would make me come here instead of Rock Bottom or Ram, which are just a block away, especially with the lackluster food and menu. The Weiss Guy Wheat had the unfiltered twang I don’t like in my wheats, the Big House Red I barely remember drinking, the Pelican Pale was not well balanced, the Birdman Brown was a bit too sweet for my tastes. But, on the bright side, the Stout was very rich, complex, and full-bodied, and the Stone Hammer was spicy and decent. My favorite of the bunch, however, was the Searchlight Golden Ale, which was clean, crisp, and extremely refreshing.

The service was probably the best part of my visit. Sure, they may have been dead at 8:00 pm, four hours after a Colts playoff loss, but the bartender still knew his stuff and even recognized the Brugge Brasserie shirt I was wearing. Kudos.

Location: 15
Food: 12
Beer: 14
Service: 18
Overall: 14
Total: 73