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Selection: 4.5 | Service: 4 | Atmosphere: 5 | Food: 4.0dzouras's (49) Overall Score: 90.0
The Stone Cellar Brewpub is a hidden jewel in Appleton. It is not the best brewpub I have ever been to, but compared to the desert that is Appleton, this place is my favorite.
The beer selection is varied and there should be something for just about anyone. The beers are not the most adventurous versions of the styles, but everything is very drinkable.
Stone Cellar Stout - good, but a little less bitter than most stouts
Pie Eyed IPA - tasty, but I like more hops
Vanishing Vanilla Stout - best vanilla beer I have every had! The vanilla hits the nose first and you catch a hint of it early in a taste, then the darkness of the stout takes over.
They often have a barley wine that I like to get when I stop by.
You can take growlers home and they have a cooler full of bottles that you can choose to fill up six packs. This is what I usually do since I live out of town.
I love the atmosphere in this bar. It is in the basement (cellar) of an old building. There is plenty of brick walls, wood and dim lighting. There are a couple of TVs but they are not overwhelming.
Although I have been to Stone Cellar on several of my trips to Appleton, I usually order the pizza. It is good, but nothing special.
The service is hit or miss. Sometimes the servers take good care of me, but others it seems like I have to beg to get a drink. Maybe it is because it can get really crowded in this place as people come just before the comedy club shows that are in the same building.
Overall, I would recommend the Stone Cellar Brewpub if you are in Appleton. I will definitely be going back.
My latest visit to Stone Cellar confirmed my previous observations.
The atmosphere is still cool and dark with minimal distraction from TVs. I love the rock walls in this place. You must sit in the bar area for the best experience. I have never sat in the "dining room", but it does not look like I would enjoy it.
The beer is still good. The Stone Cellar stout, Vanishing Vanilla stout, and the Tilted Kilt Scottish ale were all enjoyed. A special surprise was that they had Bell's Hop Slam on guest tap! You know I had to have one of those as well.
For the first time since I started coming to Stone Cellar, we sampled the soda. The orange creme was very tasty. The blue raspberry was a little too much like Kool-Aid for my taste. I only took a few sips of each, but my companions that had ordered them seemed to enjoy them. Unfortunately, they were out of the root beer. Maybe next time.
The service continues to be the area that Stone Cellar could use some improvement. Once again, the servers are generally pleasant, but I am looking for a little more attention to detail. I don't know if it is because I am not a regular, or perhaps I don't understand how service works in Wisconsin. It might also be that I usually sit at one of the high bar tables and they are too far from the taps. Whatever it is, the drink service is slow. At one point three of us were without beers for about 10 minutes. I went over to the bar and ordered myself. It was not very busy.
I hate that society has decided that we must have straws in every glass of water. I hate it even more when I have to keep telling the server NO STRAW. On a related note, any fine beer place should understand the benefits of making ample water available. You don't have to assume that everyone wants water (although they should), but if I am drinking your delicious, high alcohol beers for hours and I order a round of water for everyone, then please keep it coming. I will tip accordingly.
So despite the bitching, I do like Stone Cellar. I just cannot help but compare them to other places that I have been. Those places have a little something extra. So Stone Cellar just needs to step it up a little. I will definitely be back to watch for improvements... and drink some good beer of course!
reviewed on: 2010-03-07 18:33:15