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Selection: 4.5 | Service: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Food: 4.5vgatto's (298) Overall Score: 88.3
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse is a quickly expanding brewpub chain that started in California, has a large presence in Texas, and continues to spread eastward. By Aug 2012, they have grown to 124 restaurants, surpassing Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch to become the largest chain of brewpubs. Since only some BJ's locations actually brew, contract brewing and distribution supplies other locations, and their craft beer offering is very consistent across the chain. Sharing an almost cooker-cutter design, new BJ's restaurants are typically cube-shaped stand-alone buildings situated near high-traffic shopping malls. Through a revolving door and past the greeter's station, the restaurant is divided into bar and dining areas. There are numerous tables, high ceilings and plenty of Americana decor. The bar design varies, but typically is a faux marble counter in front of a large projection television. BJ's food menu is expansive, with something for everyone, and I've always found the food well prepared. BJ's house beers includes tart "Berry Burst Cider", mild "Brewhouse Blonde Kolsch" and "Lightswitch Lager", crisp "Pook's Pilsner", aromatic "Harvest Hefeweizen", robust "Jeremiah Red Ale" and "PM Porter, malty "Nutty Brewnette", hoppy "Piranha Pale Ale" and "Hopstorm IPA", and rich, flavorful "Tatonka Stout". BJ's offers a pleasurable dining experience with delicious food and a nice variety of well crafted beers.
Sugar Land TX is an upscale and rapidly growing city, and I was impressed when I visited this brewpub in 2006. Due to state alcohol control law, which prevents the 27 Texas BJ's restaurants from sharing kegs in a network model, BJ's instead contract-brews its recipes at the Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston. Although this hub-and-spoke distribution is undoubtedly the best business model within Texas, it unfortunately stifles creative diversity of multiple brewmasters experimenting with smaller batches. In any case, I highly recommend visiting any BJ's to enjoy what they have to offer.
reviewed on: 2011-12-10 22:00:59