Granite City Food and Brewery is a chain of brewpubs sprinkled throughout the Midwest. There are several here in Iowa, and while I’ll make effort to track them all down, this is my first experience. I always look forward to finding the next wonderful beer, yet another that I can’t live without. Alas, I didn’t find it here.
The lineup was fine, dandy and good, but nothing stood out to knock me off my feet, nor my socks off those feet. I tried a sampler of the standards (Northern Light Lager, Brother Benedict’s Bock, Duke of Wellington IPA, Broad Axe Stout and Two Pull!), as well as a few extras (the seasonal wheat beer, the Admiral [a blend of the Northern Light and IPA] and a black and tan.
Stylistically, I thought the front-runners were the wheat, stout and maybe the IPA. I’d generally be happy to have 8 beers to sample, but it turns out that 3 of these beers were blends: the aforementioned Admiral, the appropriately-named Two Pull! and the black and tan. I think this rubbed me wrong, though it would have been forgiveable if new ground were being broken. It wasn’t.
Two other frustrations: my buffalo burger was lackluster and my waitress didn’t know two of the beers she handed me. As far as she knew, the black and tan was “some other stout, I think,” and the Admiral, well, she didn’t know what that was. Her lack of knowledge was offset, however, by a very friendly manager-type, who greeted us and fielded our questions about those two beers. He checked back to see if we’d sorted out the “four flavors” in the wheat beer for which we should have been looking: wheat, cloves, banana and nutmeg. I’ll admit it, I didn’t catch the nutmeg for the others, but cloves will sometimes do that to me. That wheat was very good, I should say, but he didn’t sound certain that they’d do it again.
Generally, it was a nice lunch spot, but if one’s looking for amazing beer, phenomenal food and an earthier atmosphere, you might be a bit disappointed. Despite that, this chain-pub is brewing beer in Clive, so you should go there for the beauty of that alone.