River City Brewing Co, Wichita Kansas

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Bill
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River City Brewing Co, Wichita Kansas

#1 Post by Bill » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:43 pm

River City Brewing Co.
150 N Mosley St (Located in Old Town)
Wichita, KS 67202
http://www.rivercitybrewingco.com

Nice medium sized brewery with 3 seating sections and plenty of TVs to watch. Behind the bar was the brew room. Looked very clean and they were mashing while we were there. There is also a club upstairs called Loft 150, but we didn't go up there (that is where they serve the BMC).

For appetizers we had the spinach dip and fried mushrooms. The dip was good and came with way more chips than needed, which caused the dip portion to seem very small.
The mushrooms were crisp and not dripping with hot oil. The ranch on the side was very good as well. Came w/ lettuce.
My Rating: 8

For dinner I had the fish and chips. The food was very good. The batter on the fish wasn't too crispy or too mushy and the residual oil was well with in the tolerable range. I usually avoid ordering fish and chips as they tend to be very greasy. The flavor of the batter accented the fish nicely. The tarter sauce seemed very fresh and not from a jar.
Garnished with a lemon wedge.
My Rating: 8

Monette got the steak, steamed veggies, baked potato and they brought out this huge dinner roll. The seasoning on the steak was quite good, not too salty and they hit medium-rare perfectly. The vegetables were over cooked and very soggy.

Arie had the fajita chicken salad. It was huge. I didn't have a sample but she said it was really good.

Josh had the Philly cheese steak calzone. Again, the portion was large and came with marinara sauce (that wasn't just pizza sauce) and some other sauce which may have some some sort of mustard sauce? (didn't look very inviting) He said it was very good as well.

Our server was a bit of a smart ass and at first seemed a bit put out by any requests that would cause him to come back to the table multiple times.Not sure if he was having a bad night, but he mellowed towards the end of the night and became much friendlier...(or he started drinking. you decide)

They had a Pilsner (Plizner on the menu), Red Ale, Brown Ale, IPA, Wheat and Stout on tap.

Old Town Brown
I chose this as my first selection. First thing I would do is change the name of this beer. Old Town Brown sounds like some old lady's pet name for her husband's butt.
The color was a cloudy dark amber. Do to the food smells and the fact we were 10 feet from the door, I couldn't get the aroma.
The brew was very acidic, similar to what kiln black malt tastes like when you sample it. There was a malt finish, but it was overpowered by the acidic flavor (tannins maybe? I don't know what tannins taste like).
My Rating: 3 (it may improve with age, but for now, I wouldn't recommend it)

Tornado Alley IPA
My second choice. The IPA was a nice dark golden color, very clear. Nice head and good head retention. Aroma was simply a nice hop aroma, slightly citric (again, aroma was difficult to detect).
Flavor was very hoppy, but not absurd, probably in the 50 or 60 IBU range. It finished clean.
My Rating: 7

Emerald City Stout
My last brew for the night (yeah, I know, but I had to call it an early night). Good rich dark color. Very light-brown head. Good carbonation. Nice malt aroma and flavor but it finished on the light side, much like a Guinness. The body was a bit thin, but was very drinkable.
My Rating: 7

Over all, I would go back again and recommend it as a place to go and have dinner w/ some drinks. The beers were good, the food was great, the service started off pretty shaky and the atmosphere was nice. There were several families there with children, bikers and even one guy brandishing a leather jacket w/ the Rebel flag on the back and a GREAT mullet. Wish I had a picture.
Other than the acidic brown ale and the server, I would say that the worst thing was the damn 80's music that was being played. Seems to be a pattern in Wichita as another bar we went to (The Anchor) also piped in 80's crap all night. To each their own I guess.

My Overall Rating: 7
Thanks!

--Bill

all your mash are belong to us

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Joe Yoder
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#2 Post by Joe Yoder » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:53 am

Bill,
Glad to hear that the River City Brewery may be back to at least a palatable level. I have gone there since they opened. When they started (late 80s) they were very good, but went on a steady decline for years. I have been back many times hoping for improvement and occasionally I would be pleased, but more often than not, not so much!
Glad you had good food at least, sounds like they are still not up to our standards (Free State) in the service and beer department.
thanks for posting the review.
Joe

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Bill
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#3 Post by Bill » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:03 am

Hey Joe,
Yeah, the locals mostly had bad things to say (locals being the art students my wife hangs with). Most of the people coming in the door were going upstairs to the Loft. I'll have to go back again and see if I have a different opinion. I'm in Wichita often enough. :)
Thanks!

--Bill

all your mash are belong to us

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tjthresh
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#4 Post by tjthresh » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:19 pm

I've never been to the actually pub, but they had a table set up at the Parkville brewfest. I'll tell you what, a couple of there beers really surprised me. Of course, one was a barrel aged barleywine. Still, good stuff.

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Joe Yoder
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#5 Post by Joe Yoder » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:18 am

Stopped in to the River City again recently and have got to say that these guys are starting to get it figured out. My first clue was the 3 foot tall randall on the bar filled with hops that they were running their Tornado Alley IPA through! Made a big difference in aroma and taste. Hop shortage?? What hop shortage?
Also had a oak aged old ale. Very tasty.
Definitely worth the stop!
Joe

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Bill
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Re: River City Brewing Co, Wichita Kansas

#6 Post by Bill » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:17 pm

I went back a few weeks ago while a buddy was in town with his parents, and while I cannot truthfully describe the beers at this point, I can say that the brown ale still tasted horrible, the server was pissy and only came back after we flagged her down for another beer and the atmosphere was that of people waiting to go to the 80's music BMC bar upstairs.

The food was still better than fast food, but the beer has continued to drop. We where there on a Friday around 9pm and there were maybe 15 people in the bar. I've also noticed that there is no signage showing the River City Brewing outside, only a sign saying Loft 150. I recommended this place to meet some friends, and they couldn't find it. So I guess the 80's metal hair band business is making more money than the brewery.

That's really sad. The brewery is right next to where all of the art shows are done for Final Friday's (in Wichita, the last Friday of the month is time for the art shows to change out). I know art students are poor, but the people that buy the art are not and usually appreciate a great libation.

Anyway, I gave them a 7 over all on my first visit back in July of 2007, I would drop this down to a 4 and really not recommend you go for either the food, waitstaff or the brew.
Thanks!

--Bill

all your mash are belong to us

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Jensen
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Re: River City Brewing Co, Wichita Kansas

#7 Post by Jensen » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:45 pm

Thanks for the update Bill! Always good to know when traveling where the good places (or not) to go are. Maybe a year from now, or new management, will give a more favorable re-review. Maybe GB should should give us the zagat report.

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