…on good food, questionable judgment, and making life work
I had heard about Craft Brewed some time ago, joined their mailing list, etc etc. And as usual, didn’t actually make it there, but I kept seeing posts come up on the social media feeds from my friends about it.
Then one day, one of my good pals, Trent, said that we should get some Bolton’s and head down there for lunch. This allowed me to kill two birds with one stone because I hadn’t been to the 8th South Bolton’s yet.
I met Trent @ Bolton’s on 8th South, and while I dreamed of them having a bathroom, sadly, that was not the case. The good news is that they had the fastest service I’ve ever had at Bolton’s. And guys, while the place is certainly not as funky as ol’ Main Street, that was the best Catfish sandwich I’ve ever had from them. So perfectly cooked and crispy. And I swear it all happened in less than 10 minutes. Sides were also equally awesome. The level of hot was not as deadly as Main Street, but for the purposes of this story, that’s probably OK.
When I pulled up to Craft Brewed, parking was tight, but there is a parking lot that is not clearly labeled that is up on the hill behind the building, available on a drive just to the South of the location on Franklin Rd.
Inside, it was pretty cool. On one side is a great bottle shop, featuring what I would imagine is a nice assortment of wine and more importantly, probably the best selection of whiskeys I have seen in town. And they had a ton of stuff I had not seen anywhere else, like Koval Whiskey out of Chicago. And of course high gravity beer. I had a great chat with the staff – nice guys with a ton of knowledge.
But that’s not the best part to me. Trent and I went into the beer side and there was a nice, long common table with stools and we plunked down our lunch and grabbed a brew.
I sallied up to the bar where a no-nonsense young lady by the name of “Jessica” I believe asked what we wanted. I went to school on Trent and went for a tasty brown ale. which paired well with the spicy love of the hot fish and chicken as well as with the collard greens.
I hit a few extra beers based on Trent’s recommendations and then filled up a bunch of growlers. One thing I have noticed is that all of the staff will be VERY clear that some beers cost more than others. My guess is that whiny assholes make a big fuss if they feel they get overcharged and can’t read the clearly-marked board above, which is disappointing. I have made a vow to confront such jackholes if this should transpire in front of me while I am there, because people should be cool at a craft beer joint. As for the selection? In a word, fantastic. If you can’t find something great on their ever-changing list, there is something wrong with you. And Jessica was more than happy to make some great recommendations the next time I came in without Trent.
Another cool detail about this place is it is easily the only bottle shop I have sen in town that carry Shrub and Co. shrubs! If you’re not familiar with what a shrub is, it is a vinegar and generally fruit-based cocktail additive. This particular company is based out of California and has been cranking out some fantastic potables – my favorite thus far (that they didn’t have here) has been the Apple Shrub. Craft Brewed also has a great selection of mixers including great selections of ginger beers and Fentiman’s mixers, which in my opinion are some of the best bottled carbonated beverages on the market (their Tonic Water and Rose Lemonade will change your lives). And they have Jack Rudy’s Tonic Syrup, which I have been importing since the first batch came out 3 or 4 years ago -again, an indispensable product. Who ever is curating this section knows what the hell is up in the craft cocktail world. They also seem to have a nice home-brewing section, though frankly I don’t have a ton of knowledge in that area. Growler refills were very reasonable as were the prices of pints.
A great bonus about this place is the people you meet – I ran into some really cool characters in the brief time that I hung out.
This is a solid place and I highly recommend it. And for the love of god don’t cross Jessica and if you complain about pricing, I’ll slap you on behalf of the staff.