Beer First, Food Later
Setting your priorities at Bosque Brewery Public House
A quick word of warning though. Here is the order of priorities if you want to enjoy this place to its full potential: You come for a drink; maybe you get some food. You don’t come for the food and maybe get a drink. Got it?
To that end, Bosque Brewery’s use of the old term “public house” for the location on Central and Girard fits perfectly. The space, though a bit spare in decor, is lively enough at peak hours that the dining room can quickly become overwhelming due to the echoing reverberations of conversation that bounce through the room. If you need something a little quieter, you can step out on to the wrap-around patio and enjoy the evening air and the usual collection of Central Avenue eclectics passing by.
A quick word of warning though. Here is the order of priorities if you want to enjoy this place to its full potential: You come for a drink; maybe you get some food. You don’t come for the food and maybe get a drink. Got it? Let’s go over it one more time: Drink first, food second. With that order now established, let’s dive into the beer.
Feeling summery, I took a quick tour of the lighter beers, made possible with a collection of 5 oz. sample pours ($2 apiece). Riverwalker IPA offers a nose-punching hop bouquet that leans toward the citrusy, while still having a malty enough body to prop it up, so to speak. The Bosque lager, a bright golden pour that glistens like sunlight, makes for a low-alcohol pint that goes down quickly on the pub’s patio. Unlike other lagers, this one has enough bitter at the base to keep it interesting. Summer in Hallertau, a light pale ale on seasonal offering, puts forward a piney, orangey aroma, but backs it up with a crisp, quenching body of flavor.
My favorite of the beers on tap, though, is actually the very first Bosque brew that I tried way back when I reviewed Spinn’s Burgers. The Scotia Scotch ale, a full-bodied, caramelly batch of complex, malty nectar, is much heavier than the others, but damn, is it good. It is pretty darn high in alcohol content with an 8.4% abv, so you’ll definitely want to take it easy on this one if you don’t want your friends to have to shove you into your Uber ride.
Instead, go straight for the real menu. Epecially the sandwiches. Two of these particularly impressed me. The caprese, on thinly sliced ciabatta bread, uses fresh tomatoes and mozzarella for a light summery bite. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar gives it a lilt as it touches your tongue, and it’s perfect to pair with a lager or a pale ale. The Italian sandwich, also on ciabatta, is more heavy, with capicola ham, gruyere and feta cheese, as well as a topping of sliced olive tapenade. It’s a dark, savory flavor that goes well with a similarly dark beer. I also tried the pretzel brat sandwich, made with a green chile bratwurst, but found the meat dry and the green chile flavor far too muted to make an impact. Skip it.
But really, your priority here is the beer, the camaraderie and the conversation. If you keep that in mind, you will be very happy.
106 Girard SE
Hours: 11am to 11pm, Monday through Wednesday
11am to 12am, Thursday
11am to 1am, Friday and Saturday
12pm to 11pm, Sunday
Vibe: Loud and friendly
Extras: Happy hour (3pm to 6pm, daily)
The Alibi recommends: Scotia Scotch ale, Bosque lager, Italian sandwich, caprese