Congress Beer House is a very cool new place in Saskatoon, but as with most new ventures, it's not perfect.
- The atmosphere is pretty great. The layout of the building was not changed much from when it was Scratch, but they've decorated it to have a very unique and homey feel.
- They have an excellent chef that makes everything from scratch. Some of their daily specials look to die for. Chef Cole shops at the local farmers market, so two-thumbs up for keeping it local. They also offer gluten free food and beer options which are all outlined on their menu. Only eaten here once, but it was refreshing.
- The beer & wine selection is fantastic obviously. They proudly feature a "house" beer called Kolsch which is brewed at a local brewery (Paddock Wood). Again, proud to keep things local. Lots of craft beers both in the bottle and on tap, and they carry my favorite brew, Steam Whistle.
- Service has been spotty at times. It gets very busy some nights, so that's understandable, but there's been times when I've stood at the entrance for a long time without anyone coming around. Maybe I was supposed to seat myself? I don't know. It didn't say. I grabbed a menu and did it anyway. They have a "wait to be seated" sign that I've seen out, but not a "please seat yourself" one. Would be nice to have a better greeting/seating system.
- Beer prices are kind of hefty, which is accentuated by having a choice of 12oz or 16oz glasses. You see the 12oz price first on the menu, and if you don't specify, they'll bring you 16oz. No one wants a 12 oz glass of beer, lets get real. Just do away with the 2 sizes and charge a fair price. It's $8.50 for 16oz of Steam Whistle. Winston's charges $8, although their's tastes like garbage.
- Lots of the beers are served in generic glasses. This sounds like a petty criticism, but after all, it IS a beer house and you're definitely paying a premium for it. It must be because of the 12/16oz sizes. If you've ever visited Beer Bros in Regina, you'll appreciated what I'm talking about. It really elevates the experience (how pretentious am I right now!)
Overall, I love this place but it's expensive to drink here so I don't go as often as I'd like. Definitely worth checking out if you're visiting Saskatoon though!
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